If you’re having an amicable divorce, you and your spouse may be able to jointly break the news to family and friends. The support of family and friends can make the divorce process easier for some people. However, knowing how to talk about divorce and tell others about the divorce is stressful, especially if they don’t see it coming and aren’t aware of the turmoil in your marriage.
First, don’t expect it to be easy. Not everybody will react how you expect, and some might react in a way you don’t particularly like. Below is a brief overview of how to tell people you’re divorcing, like close family, extended family, and friends, particularly mutual friends.
How do I inform immediate and close family?
It might be best to break the news to one group at a time, for example, first the husband’s family, then the wife’s family, etc.
But if your divorce isn’t amicable, it’s usually best not to break the news jointly. Trying to break the news jointly might lead to an ugly situation if you become involved in an argument with your spouse. This can make the situation even more difficult for family and friends you’re telling.
While your friends and family will offer their support, avoid trying to instruct them on how they treat your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Your friends and family may have no ill will toward your spouse and might be upset as well. Allow them time to react to the news and ask for their support.
How do I inform extended family?
You don’t necessarily have to break the news to the entire family. You can start by confiding in someone who is very close to you like your parents or your siblings. Telling a few close loved ones first will also help you gain the support that you need during this time.
You can then inform your extended family, including uncles and aunts and other relatives, through more informal means like email.
How do I tell mutual friends?
Talking about divorce with friends is tricky, especially if they are mutual friends. Telling them together with your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be helpful if the divorce is amicable.
Again, don’t try to influence how they feel about your soon-to-be ex, as that can only make things more difficult and more awkward for you, your ex, and your friends. Even if you feel some animosity toward your spouse, it may make the entire situation less contentious if you don’t try to influence others to dislike or guilt your spouse.
While it might be natural that mutual friends ultimately spend more time with one of the spouses after the divorce, don’t assume that they will take sides. Ask for their support just as you asked your family for their support.
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