Concluding that your marriage is over is difficult. Adding to that pain is the arduous chore of telling your friends and family about it.
When you and your spouse decide to divorce, legal action is only one part of the process. For some couples, the more difficult component might be telling friends and families that they are splitting up. How and when you inform others depends on how close they are to you and why and when they need to know.
At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, we offer compassionate and practical representation that considers both the legal and emotional components of divorce.
Telling Your Children First
Whether your children are minors or adults, they should be the first ones informed about your divorce. Both you and your spouse should come together to tell all children at the same time, if possible. As parents, you should plan what you want to say to them and think through your answers to questions that might be asked.
The following tips can help ease the process of telling your children:
- Tell your children that you love them.
- Put your children’s needs ahead of your own.
- Stay united with your soon-to-be-ex. While perhaps difficult, doing so will provide your children with a sense of comfort.
- Don’t place blame on the other spouse.
- Limit the details you provide. What you tell them should be age-appropriate.
- Let children know you both will continue to be there for them.
Children will probably have many questions. They will want to know where they will live and whether a parent is moving out of the home. They’ll wonder how often they will see their parents and whether they will have to change schools. Being prepared with answers will reassure them.
After telling your children, you can consider informing others.
Telling Your Parents Next
Your parents should probably be next to know after telling your children. Like your prepared remarks to your children, you and your partner can choose to do the same thing with others. Highly contested divorces can make this unified front impossible.
You do not have to tell your parents every detail about the divorce. Neutral statements like, “We tried but it didn’t work out” or “We grew apart” might be enough – especially at the outset. You can decide over time how much more if anything, your parents should understand about the divorce.
After telling your parents, siblings and other close family members can be told. Those relatives you see every five years at the family reunion? They don’t need to hear it from you. Family members that aren’t a regular part of your life do not require a special call, email, or other communication. They will probably hear it eventually from someone else.
Telling Friends About Your Divorce
Some friends might have had a front-row seat to your marriage and what led up to the divorce. Other friends might feel blindsided by the news. Either way, keep your comments as short and simple as possible.
If friends pepper you with questions and ask for more details, you can always tell them you are still processing everything yourself or that you want to focus on the future.
Discussing your pending divorce will take an emotional toll. Having individual conversations with each friend is unnecessary and burdensome. You can tell a group through an email or a small gathering, whichever feels most appropriate to you.
When you first tell friends, center the conversation on things that you know will change. For example, if you are moving into an apartment, getting a new phone number, or other information that they should know. You do not need to overshare your feelings. If these are mutual friends, refrain from details that make them feel they must choose sides.
Telling Professional Colleagues
Unless you and your spouse socialize with your workmates or your work involves you and your spouse as a couple, there may be no reason to formally tell your teammates. Human resources will need to know about a change of address or withholding information for your taxes.
Your boss might need to know if you will need to adjust your work schedule to handle the legal aspects of the divorce. Let them know the divorce will have as little impact as possible on your work.
You should also tell your children’s teachers, coaches, and other key adults in their lives. Knowing about the divorce will help them understand and better help your child if their behavior changes or their grades fall. Ask these adults to let you know if they notice any changes in your children.
Accomplished Legal Counsel for New York Divorce
If divorce is on the horizon, our skilled lawyers can help safeguard your next chapter. We can help you and your spouse reach an agreement about child custody, support, and property division. Our extensive trial experience also enables us to argue your side in court.
Want more information about the next steps? Schedule a consultation by calling (845) 605-4330.