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Never assume what's going to happen during the 'divorce talk'

Every spouse and every child is different, and they will all have their own way of dealing with the news of divorce. However, don't let that frighten you into doing as many spouses do: Don't endure a toxic marriage for years when you know it's time for it to end.

To help you break the news to your family the right way, here are a few important pieces of advice to keep in mind when you're bridging the divorce topic with your spouse and your children:

Plan things out with your spouse first. In most cases, your spouse will have a feeling that you're not happy with the marriage, and he or she might not be happy either. Your spouse might not be expecting you to take such a final move such as divorce, however, so be prepared for an unexpected response. You might even get hit with accusations and frightening insults to your character. Whatever you do, don't react and don't fight back with accusations of your own. Stay as calm and reasonable as possible because it will help your divorce happen more smoothly in the long run.

Present a united front to your children. When you tell your kids, do it simply and don't tell them in long, drawn-out explanations. Assure them that it's a joint decision and that "mommy and daddy" have decided to live in separate houses after considering the matter for a long time. Tell all of your children at once in a family meeting, then consider breaking the kids up to deliver more age-appropriate information accordingly.

Once you've broken the news, it will be time to get organized with your divorce proceedings. It will be important for your pocketbook and your family to end your marriage peacefully, so you may want to explore mediation and other out-of-court settlement solutions.

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