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Tips for telling people you are getting divorced

You have spoken with an attorney and filed the paperwork for divorce. There are a million details to follow but near the top is telling family, friends and even work that you are getting divorced. This is an understandably difficult conversation when you tell the kids, but some are surprised at how this news will affect others in their sphere.

There are now more options than ever on how you go about telling people thanks to the advent of social media. Should you meet people face to face, give a quick call, or even throw a divorce party? Each person chooses an approach that works for them; but rather than blurt it out on Facebook, it may be wise to put some thought into the matter.

Tips for telling them

Here are some tips we found in a recent article that may work for you:

Create a script: Don’t read from a sheet of paper, but it is smart to try and come up with a relatively short and concise. The idea is to not villainize your spouse, but you should include truthful details and language that says you don’t expect people to choose sides and you are both committed to co-parenting the children in a healthy way. Start with close friends.

Think about how this news effects others: News of the dissolution of longer marriages where there were no outward signs of trouble could completely blindside some. Ideally, use phrasing that includes: “It was a mutual decision” and “It is for the best.”

Tailor your language to fit the audience: It makes no sense to use the same language for young children as you would for older children or other adults. With kids you want to reassure them that you still love them and reassure them that everything will be okay. It advisable to provide practical information about where people will live. Your work schedule may need to change to accommodate the parenting plan, so tell your boss something along the lines of “I will try to avoid this affecting my work.”

Avoid the temptation of announcing it on social media: While it may seem easiest to craft a statement and then post it on your Facebook page, this is a delicate topic that will likely spur an onslaught of responses that can be seen by all of your “friends” (which could be a wide circle that includes colleagues, distant friends from high school, old neighbors or friends you should tell in person).

The goal is to get support: You do not want to over-share the details to elicit sympathy, but you want to tell people to help build a support network for you and the children (notifying your young child’s school teacher is advisable). Let them know how they can help you or the family.

As with so many thing, you will get better at telling people after you do it enough times. You will learn what works best and how to read your audience. You will also likely come up with tips of your own that work best for you.

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Littman Family Law
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