The divorce process can be difficult and confusing, and determining how to break the news to loved ones can be burdensome. Should you do it in person, over the phone, or send an e-mail? What about posting on social media? How you decide to inform others of your divorce will largely depend on your audience, as the approach for doing so will be different for your children, parents, close friends, and acquaintances.
Telling Your Children
Telling your children about your divorce will be one of the most difficult things you will ever do. It is important that you and your spouse set your differences aside and create a united front while approaching this obstacle.
To do this, you and your spouse must discuss what you will tell your children before you sit down with them. Agree on how much detail you will disclose, as well as the reason for your divorce. Never place blame on the other parent, and try to remain calm and level headed during the discussion. Prepare answers for certain questions your children will likely ask, such as “Where will I live?” and “Does this mean I won’t see mom (or dad) anymore?” Make sure you cover all bases!
Children need reassurance that the divorce is not their fault, and they are still loved by both parents. By sitting down as a family and having an open and honest discussion about the divorce and what the future may hold will help to accomplish this.
Telling Parents and Family Members
Informing your parents and other family members about your divorce can be nerve wracking. Your parents and siblings will probably be saddened by the news, because they are losing a part of their family, too.
You can be a little more candid with adults than with your children, so don’t be afraid to open up and lean on them for emotional support. Let them know that this decision did not come lightly, and you have put a great deal of thought into planning for the future. Your family loves you, and wants what is best for you. If you need any form of support or assistance, now is the time to approach the subject.
Unfortunately, not every family is understanding and supportive at first. Never let loved ones pressure you into staying in an unhappy, unhealthy, or abusive marriage. They need to respect your decision, regardless of the reason as to why you are proceeding with a divorce.
Should You Tell Your Boss?
Disclosing your divorce to your boss and colleagues is not required, but doing so may be a good idea. You will, undoubtedly, need to make changes to your health or life insurance coverage through work, as well as change your tax filing status. These are both issues for Human Resources. You will likely miss work during the divorce process, due to court appearances, depositions, or settlement conferences, so it is best to alert your boss or supervisor.
It is important to note that a divorce is never grounds for employment termination. You cannot be fired or laid off if you are getting divorced. Keep your attitude professional, and try not to discuss the pitfalls or hardships of your case with you supervisor or colleagues while in the office.
Posting on Social Media
Social media plays an ever prominent role in our daily lives, and thus, many turn to their Facebook or Twitter pages to make a mass announcement regarding their pending divorce. That being said, going public isn’t for everyone, however, there are some general guidelines to follow before hitting “post”.
Always have the consent of your spouse before alerting your friends and followers of your divorce. Many couples share friends, and may even have their in-law’s or spouse’s family members. It can be incredibly rude and hurtful for your spouse’s Aunt Helen to find out about the divorce via your status update. Some couples opt to make the announcement together, by writing the status together, and posting at the same time. There is no reason why an acquaintance you haven’t seen since high school needs to know the personal details of why your marriage is ending, so keep the message short and to the point. Stress that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse appreciate the support, but would like to keep the details of the divorce private.
Remember: social media is used as discovery and evidence in divorce cases throughout the country. Never post negatively about your spouse, and refrain from venting about the process on such a public forum. Doing so can have a disastrous effect on your action.
Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is a New York City based divorce and family law firm, specializing in complex and contested matrimonial actions. To find out how our intelligent and aggressive representation can work for you, call 718-875-7584 to schedule a free consultation.