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How to Explain that You’re Getting Divorced

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally taxing experience. It can also be difficult to tell your family and friends that you are getting divorced. In this blog, we'll provide guidance on how to share the news of your divorce in a way that honors the emotions of the other and protects your privacy and emotional health as well.

How to Tell Mutual Friends & Family About Your Divorce

Your family and others in your life can also be emotionally (and literally) affected by your divorce, which is why it's important to approach the conversation compassionately and respectfully.

  • Be diplomatic. If you are talking with people still close to the other party (like mutual friends or your in-laws), be diplomatic and avoid disparaging the other party. What you say can get back to your spouse, which can impact the amicability between you both. If you wish to remain in contact with these mutual friends or any in-laws, you should consider having boundaries concerning what is discussed as well.
  • Be honest. You shouldn’t feel pressured to overshare or explain why you’re getting divorced. You can share what you feel comfortable with others knowing and do not have to share what led to the divorce (if you do not wish to). However, you should be honest.
  • Be prepared to set boundaries. You know what you can handle and what you are willing to discuss. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries concerning what you will share and discuss now and in the future; you also shouldn’t be apprehensive if you feel the need to deflect the conversation away from unwanted advice and/or negativity.
  • Ask everyone to not share any information on social media. Social media can negatively impact many aspects of your divorce. For instance, the court may believe you don’t want to foster a healthy relationship between your child and the other party (which is a factor in determining child custody) if you or your family harass or disparage the other party online. Social media posts can also be used as evidence concerning spousal support, property division, and other divorce-related matters.
  • Outline how they can support you. When you announce your divorce, you can also share what you know about your case and your next steps. This information can help you segway into how you might need help with childcare or other matters while your divorce is pending.

If children are involved in the divorce, it is important that they are informed of the decision in an age-appropriate way. If possible, both parents should be present when telling children about the divorce so that they understand that they’re still a united front and that both parents still love them. In our blog, “5 Tips for Telling Your Kids About Your Divorce,” we outline specific tips concerning how to share that you’re getting divorced with your children.

What to Say on a Date If Asked About Your Divorce

When it comes to talking about your divorce on a date, the best approach is to be honest and open. It can be difficult to talk about such a personal topic, but it's important to be upfront and honest with your date if asked. You can start by explaining the situation in simple terms (being as detailed as you want to be).

Make sure to focus on the positive aspects of your experience, such as any lessons learned or growth experienced during the process. Finally, emphasize that you are looking forward to a new chapter in your life and avoid spending too much time discussing your ex (or soon-to-be-ex).

How Do You Tell Coworkers You’re Getting Divorced?

Divorce is a difficult and personal decision, and it can be hard to know how to handle it in the workplace. It's important to consider whether you should tell your coworkers about your divorce, as it may affect your work life in various ways.

Generally speaking, it is a good idea to let your employer know about your divorce so that they can understand why you might need to change your schedule (to attend hearings or mediation) or why you may seem different at times. Also, your boss and the Human Resources (HR) department should be informed as you will likely need to update your emergency contact information and other documents.

If you plan on telling colleagues about your divorce, make sure to tell your boss first so that you can protect the relationship between yourself and them. Ultimately, deciding whether or not to tell coworkers about your divorce is a personal choice and should be based on what will make you feel most comfortable.

Some tips to help you guide the conversation with your boss include:

  • Only share what you feel comfortable sharing. It is not required that you tell your boss or coworkers about your divorce. Thus, you don’t have to get into a lot of details or share personal information.
  • Focus on how the divorce might impact you at work. You can simply state that you are getting divorced and wanted to be transparent as the proceedings or meetings with lawyers may require you to leave early, answer calls more frequently, etc.
  • Avoid blaming performance on your divorce. While your divorce can impact your emotional and mental health, you shouldn’t use your divorce as an excuse for poor performance or failure to meet expectations. If you are struggling, you can reach out to your boss or HR to ask about employee support services; you can also work with your boss or manager to troubleshoot and address any challenges.

How Soon Should You Tell Others You’re Getting Divorced?

Divorce is a difficult decision to make and can be an emotional process for both partners. It can also be difficult to determine when you tell others about your decision. Depending on the situation, you may want to tell close family and friends before making a public announcement.

However, when you tell family, friends, or anyone else is entirely your decision. As we mentioned, if possible, you should consider consulting with your soon-to-be-ex concerning what you will say and consider breaking the news to some parties together.

When deciding whom to tell first, it is important to think about who will be most affected by the news. This could include close family members, such as parents or siblings, or even close friends.

It is also important to consider how they might react and if they need time to process the news. Once you have told those closest to you, you can then decide whether or not you would like to make a public announcement.

No matter whom you choose to tell first or how soon after making your decision you decide to share it with others, it is important that you take care of yourself emotionally during this time. Seek out support from family and friends and don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help if needed.

Announce Your Divorce like Celebrities

In the age of social media, celebrities have taken to announcing their divorces online with photos and captions on Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms. You may have noticed this trend concerning the modern rules of announcing your divorce has gained popularity. Such celebrities that have used social media to announce their divorce include:

  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Toni Collette
  • Kate Bosworth
  • Gisele and Tom Brady
  • Shakira
  • Gwyneth Paltrow (who started this trend in 2014)

These celebrity divorce announcements often include heartfelt messages about the couple's split or a simple statement that they are parting ways. Some couples even use their divorce announcements to raise awareness about important issues such as mental health or domestic violence. Whatever the reason for the announcement may be, it is clear that celebrity divorces are now being shared publicly online in a way that was not possible before.

Like these celebrities, you might consider announcing your divorce (to those outside of close family and/or friends) by posting online. However, be sure to keep the message respectful, as social media posts can used be against you in court.

Divorce Announcement Examples

Here are a few divorce announcement examples that you can copy or use as a building block for your own announcement:

  1. We have mutually decided to divorce after a long and difficult decision-making process. We are both committed to making this transition as smooth as possible for our children and remaining on good terms in order to support them during this difficult time.
  2. After much consideration, we have decided that the best course of action for us is to get a divorce. We hope you respect our decision and continue to be there for us throughout this process.
  3. After much consideration, we have chosen to end our marriage and move forward with our lives separately. While this may come as a surprise or disappointment, we ask that you keep an open mind and respect our wishes as we transition into this new chapter of our lives.
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