Coming to terms with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and finding a divorce lawyer always seems to be the worst of it. Then comes the part where you have to break the news to everyone. It’s a very delicate exercise with the kids, who can sadly blame themselves and lose their sense of support.
And for parents and immediate family, it can easily turn into an emotionally charged shouting storm with everyone taking sides.
As practicing divorce attorneys in San Antonio, TX, we’ve seen it all. And we’ve given our clients both legal representation and the emotional support they need at this time.
So, if you’re looking for a way to tell your family you’re getting a divorce, here’s what works in our experience.
Telling your children
If there are children involved, you need to pay special attention to how you’re going to tell them. Try to choose a day that allows for some family time so they’re not lonely while trying to process something very disorienting for them.
And work out the details together, so you both explain your decision to them along the same lines for some much-needed reassurance. Planning the details beforehand also reduces the chances of anyone getting emotional during the conversation.
As for your reasons, there’s no need to get specific, but do give a general and honest answer as to why divorce is the right decision.
However you may feel, it’s important that the narrative you share with your kids is one that is free of blame or opposition.
These are issues kids can’t fully understand. Still, the strongest signal of stability you can send them as parents is to show that you’re willing to work together for their welfare.
Telling immediate family
Immediate family members may be able to understand complicated adult affairs, but telling them is no less difficult.
However, the most important thing when telling parents and siblings about getting a divorce is to show you’ve thought the decision through. Explain things like what you’re going to do about the family house, how you’re going to effectively co-parent the children, and what steps each you is taking going forward.
And, just like with kids if you have some, give a narrative that doesn’t place blame on either of you. Family members taking sides can easily make your divorce messier than it needs to be. So although you may share the same idea of who bears the most fault, your families may not be so civil with that information.
Telling friends and extended family
Friends and extended family are unlikely to weigh into your divorce as much as immediate family members. But it’s helpful to maintain some control over how the message gets out to everyone.
These days, it’s perfectly acceptable and convenient to write a joint statement about your divorce and send it to an email list with all your friends and extended family.
Not only is this a fast and effective way to inform people about your divorce through your own amicable narrative, but it also takes some weight off your shoulders. Having your comments and explanation out at once saves you countless questions from different people.
As you’d do with your immediate family, make sure to stress that you’d heavily prefer if people didn’t take sides or involve themselves more than necessary.
When going through a contentious divorce
Of course, the advice above works best if you’re on understanding terms. If there’s animosity between you and your soon former spouse, you may have to inform everyone on your own. And this can mean countering an unfair portrayal of the divorce.
One of your top priorities, however, should be to ensure that you have a divorce lawyer by your side to protect you legally.
Get help with all aspects of your divorce from a divorce lawyer who provides comprehensive support
While Tess House Law, PLLC has the expertise needed to provide you with effective legal representation as you go through divorce, we can also help you shoulder the emotional burden of this tough and trying process. Working with us, you can depend on an extremely communicative approach and honest, realistic expectations.
Contact us today for legal support you can trust to carry you through divorce.