Tips on how to tell friends about divorce
Written by Mary Ann Hess

Tips on how to tell friends about divorce

Date:

Deciding to file for divorce can be painful. It can also be challenging to tell friends about divorce, especially if you hid your marital difficulties. The way in which you tell friends about divorce will depend on the relationship. Close friends may warrant a one-on-one, in-person discussion. Friends you haven’t seen in years don’t require the same detailed update.

General Guidelines

Timing matters. While announcing your divorce in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner may not be appropriate, letting your close friends and family know as soon as possible prevents them from hearing about it through the grapevine.

Being direct with your message and sticking to the basic facts is a good place to start. Be honest if you aren’t ready to talk about your divorce. Only share what you’re comfortable sharing. It’s also reasonable to ask for support, not feedback. Although they may believe it, it doesn’t help if your friends tell you they “always thought your spouse was such a jerk.”

You may want to consider your friend’s experience with divorce before you decide how to tell them about yours. For instance, a friend who was a child of a messy divorce may instantly sympathize with your children or question your decision. You might consider telling them something like this:

Before I tell you this news, I want you to know that I remember how difficult your parents’ divorce was for you. _____ and I have chosen to use a collaborative divorce process. This is letting us work with a group of professionals to brainstorm solutions that will be best for our family. The process allows us to avoid the courtroom drama and fighting and work together to settle our issues and end up with an agreeable outcome.

Social Media and Divorce

It may be tempting to share or vent about your divorce on social media. However, remember that what you put on social media can’t be entirely taken back. Even if you delete your post, which your attorney will likely advise you that you aren’t supposed to do, someone could have taken a screenshot and shared it with other people.

If you and your partner are in complete agreement, you may consider making a general announcement on social media. In this case, be sure to clarify:

  • What you’ll say
  • Who you’ll share it with
  • Which platforms you’ll post it on
  • How you’ll respond to online comments

Before deciding to post your news online, consider your audience. Do either of you have business connections linked to your profile? How will your extended family respond if they read about it on Facebook before you talk to them? Although social media may feel like an easy and less uncomfortable way to share, there is a lot to consider before clicking “post.”

How to Tell Friends About Divorce

You probably have casual and close friends. When using collaborative divorce, it’s important your friends and family understand this is something both you and your partner are managing together. You might consider telling your closest friends something like this:

Our friendship means so much to me. I wanted to update you on something that’s going on in my life. _____ and I have decided to get a divorce. I’m sure you can remember some of our conversations about the struggles we have been having. At this point, I’m not ready to share details, but I wanted to let you know I may need more support than usual.

or

I know _____ and I kept our marital struggles to ourselves. However, they reached a point that we have decided to get a divorce. Although this may be confusing for you, I’m not ready to share details at this point. I wanted to let you know I may need more support than usual. I appreciate that you’ll be there for me when I’m ready to talk about it.

More casual friends might include members of your book club, church group or close neighbors. For them, a short statement should be enough:

_____ and I wanted to let you know that we’re getting a divorce. We don’t want to share details about the situation, but please feel free to remain in contact with both of us.

How to Tell Co-Workers About Divorce

Keeping work and family separate can be difficult, especially when you’re going through a stressful time. Avoid making loud announcements that may disrupt the workplace. Of course, if you’re close to some co-workers, you may want to mention it at the beginning of your next happy hour or get-together. You might say something like this:

I just wanted to let you know that _____ and I are getting a divorce. I hope I can count on you to respect my privacy and not gossip about my personal life with the rest of our co-workers. Focusing on my job while I’m at work has been a great distraction.

How to Tell Professional Friends of the Family About Divorce

Your doctors, auto mechanic, insurance agent, financial advisor, children’s teachers, babysitters and even your pet groomer deserve your respect. If you have professional connections who usually see you and your spouse together, it’s worth mentioning that your family structure is changing. Telling them about your divorce lets them know they are – and will continue to be – significant to your family. It also alerts them that billing information may be changing. To share your divorce with them, you might say:

I think it’s important to let you know my spouse and I are getting a divorce. We will notify you of any address or insurance coverage changes. I just wanted you to know you’ll continue to be valuable to our family.

New Beginnings Today

Divorce doesn’t have to be a courtroom drama, open to the public. You and your partner don’t have to spend precious time and energy blaming each other and arguing. In Arizona, there’s a different way.

Collaborative divorce with the professionals from Best Legal Choices utilizes a non-adversarial approach to traditional, litigious divorce. It offers a family-friendly process that focuses on respect for each other and for your children. To learn more about ways to tell friends about divorce, contact the professionals at Best Legal Choices. Your new beginning can start today.