Occasionally, married couples simultaneously realize that they should no longer be married to each other. They then engage in a series of open and honest conversations about separating their lives and finances, and finally retain someone to document their marital termination agreement and send it to the court. But more often than not, one of the spouses realizes that the marriage has failed long before the other.
If one spouse has already been giving a significant amount of thought to the idea of a divorce they may be further along in emotional process of moving on to their life a single person. That spouse may have already considered the possibility of moving out of the Twin Cities, or given some serious thought to how a divorce would change social life and personal finances.
The spouse who initiates the divorce may feel that they have been clear in their communications about the problems they see in the relationship. But often the other spouse refuses to acknowledge the scope of the problems until divorce is on the table. The spouse who does not initiate the divorce then often has some catching up to do. Unlike the other spouse, who has likely spent months working up to this point, the spouse on the receiving end of a divorce request finds themselves walking into the theatre in the middle of the second act.
Even when the spouses are not on the same page at the beginning of the divorce process, it does not necessarily mean that the divorce will end up being contentious. To do this though, it is important to have realistic expectations regarding where the other spouse is at emotionally.
Source: Huffington Post "10 Tips for a Sane Divorce: Five for You, Five for Me," Micki McWade, Nov. 28, 2011