How To Tell My Partner “I Want a Divorce!”

Before running out and proclaiming that you want a divorce, have you done everything that you can possibly do to salvage it? If the answer is yes, then I recommend you being as amicable and as kind as possible through the process. Start by imagining how you want your relationship to be in the future with your soon-to-be ex-partner. Hopefully, you can be in the same room for special occasions without making others feel uncomfortable. If your children are young, perhaps it is being able to take the occasional family holiday together.

When it comes time to informing a partner of your decision to leave, CALMLY talk with them in the comfort of your home and explain why you are no longer interested in being in the relationship. If you talk about your feelings, then your partner can not dispute what you are saying. No one can tell you how to feel or how not to feel. Talk about your behaviour or your partner’s behaviour, whatever is upsetting you. Remember not to call them names. You might feel sad, angry, disappointed or relieved from the conversation. Some examples of what to say may be:

  1. When you have affairs with other people, it makes me feel worthless. I deserve to be loved, desired and cherished and that is why I am leaving this relationship.
  2. When you work so late so often, I feel infuriated and neglected because I deserve to be a bigger priority than work.
  3. I am no longer happy with our relationship. While I will always love you as the other parent of our children, I deserve to be happy and I do not want to be in this relationship anymore
  4. When you are drunk all the time and attack me verbally, it makes me really upset and angry. I can’t tolerate this abuse anymore and our relationship is over.
  5. When you gamble and spend all of our money, I become upset because I feel like you don’t care about providing the necessities for our family. I can’t continue to live with a partner that can’t control their spending.

And, don’t forget to reassure your partner that you want the children of the marriage to love and continue having a relationship with them.

If you can’t tell your partner how you feel and why you no longer want to be in a relationship with them, you might like to consider writing a letter. Let them read it (without interruption) and discuss it as mature adults.

Follow up your conversation with an email reiterating your desire for separating/divorce. This way, it is not possible for the other person to mistake or misinterpret your message or previous conversation. Make sure that you are respectful and polite in what you write. I would strongly recommend that either in the lead up to your request for separation or shortly after, that you make reference to the Divorce Answered Separation Checklist. It is a comprehensive list of items that you need to address, consider or discuss with your ex-partner. You may need legal advice on a few items in the Checklist, and I recommend you contact a Family Lawyer for appropriate advice for your situation.

Prior to your first appointment with a Family Lawyer, I would be wise to have completed the Divorce Answered Separation Statement. This Form is a tool for helping you convey all messages, dates/events and items in the relationship/marriage in the most efficient, cost effective and concise way with your lawyer. Your lawyer may be open to you emailing it to them prior to the first appointment. Your lawyer will then know why you are there and you will be able to discuss the more relevant items in your separation/divorce. Those who can be friends and amicable with their ex-partners must be admired. Every relationship needs work and having a relationship with your ex-partner requires even more effort than the marriage. It takes a lot of patience, tolerance, mindfulness and being conscious of what others involved in the divorce (like children) need and want before your own needs, wants and desires.


This is general advice only and is not provided as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or accountant before making a decision about what to do or applying to the Court. cannot provide legal advice. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Emergency '000'. © Divorce Pty Ltd