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How should I tell others about my divorce?

You've been a couple for years -- maybe even decades -- but now you're getting a divorce. Wouldn't it be easier if you didn't have to tell anyone about it? Wouldn't it be easier if you didn't have to answer the questions and listen to the condolences of family, friends and coworkers when you tell them about your divorce?

Unfortunately, every divorcing spouse will have to tell other people they're no longer married at some point. Here are a few things you should do to make telling other people about your divorce a little easier:

1. Define your divorce

Every multi-million-dollar corporation has a marketing department devoted to putting the perfect spin on every new direction the company takes. Why shouldn't you do the same with your divorce? The first step in this process involves "defining" your divorce. This is the definition, that you can impart to others when they find out you're ending your marriage. Maybe your divorce is "amicable, and a mutual decision." Maybe it was "surprising to you, but you're doing well with the new direction your life is taking." Maybe you'll also add that your children are much happier getting to spend extra one-on-one time with both of their parents.

2. Create a call to action

Your family and friends will naturally be wondering how they can support you. Make sure to tell them. Perhaps you need help buying furniture for your new apartment. Maybe you'd appreciate chatting with them later for some emotional support. Maybe you're looking to date and you'd like to be "set up." Let them know, and they'll probably jump to help in the way that you ask.

3. End the conversation by changing the subject

Your friend or coworker might not change the topic on their own because they'll want to make sure you have the chance to say everything you want to say. When you're done, change the topic. Say, "So how your kids doing, Sam?" or something like this to divert the attention away from you.

Breaking the news is only part of your divorce story

Aside from telling others about your divorce, you'll also have to go through the process and finalize it -- hopefully, in the most peaceful and amicable way possible. If you and your spouse are able, you may want to investigate various dispute resolution and out-of-court settlement strategies to assist you in the process of completing your divorce in a way that respects you, your spouse and the time you invested in your partnership.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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