Telling your family that you’re getting a divorce can be a difficult discussion, since they may have developed their own relationships with your ex. It’s a necessary conversation, though, and we have some dos and don’ts to help get the topic out there in the healthiest way possible.
- Do be polite. Whenever you discuss the divorce, make sure to stay civil. You and your ex may have had many arguments, but now isn’t the time to air your dirty laundry. Tell your family what you’re comfortable with them knowing.
- Do tell them how you’re handling telling your children. If you have kids, how are they handling it? Is there anything in particular they should avoid mentioning around your kids? Make sure you inform your family. If there’s anything they can do to help the kids, ask for that as well. Families are there to be support systems, and you and your children both need that during a divorce.
- Do practice what you’ll say. Don’t improvise this conversation. Make sure you know what you want to tell your family, and plan for their reactions and questions. This will help you stay poised and not be caught off-guard.
- Don’t bring it up at a large family gathering. You don’t want to tell your entire extended family at the same time. Even if the split is friendly, it can be overwhelming to tell everyone at once, especially if you’re celebrating a holiday or just spending Friday night together. Plan a separate time to tell them.
- Don’t talk about it in front of children. Children are perceptive, and will repeat anything you say to people outside the family, through no fault of their own. This can be an emotional conversation, and you don’t want any children around if that happens.
- Don’t spend too long getting to the point. Come out and tell them. The faster you mention it, the faster you can have the potentially difficult conversation about how to move forward.
Remember that for your family members the news may be difficult to hear, and they will have questions.t’s a breakup with them, too, because your ex will no longer be around as they have in past. If there is no reason for them to stay away from your ex, they may wish to continue their relationship following your divorce. Healthy relationships all around will help everyone involved move on with positive attitudes.
Mediation provides an alternative to traditional divorce battles. Through mediation you and your ex can carve out a path for your family’s future without turning against each other in court. This process can save time, money and frustration. Learn more about Attorney Lorraine McCormick’s mediation services here.