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Spreading the News: Telling Others About Your Divorce

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It seems, sometimes, that everyone has an opinion on how you announce your divorce. Some people change their Facebook status. Others share the news in person. And, of course, there is the increasing frequency of divorce parties, a trend first spotted several years ago.

With so many communication options at our fingertips, it can be hard to know how best to best deliver the news about your divorce.

As lawyers, we are hardly experts on social norms regarding divorce communication. But, we do have some experience seeing what works for others.

Here are a few tips that we would recommend to you when you are telling people about your divorce:

  • For close friends and family, clearly face to face is the best avenue, with the telephone the next best option. Family members and friends often have their own apprehensions and concerns about divorce and its impact ”“Face-to-face (or voice-to-voice, as the case may be) contact can provide reassurances about what the future holds and reduce the worry and concern your friends and family may have about you.

It is always advisable to let your inner circle know first ”“ before you update your Facebook status or send a blast email, which brings us to tip #2:

  • For acquaintances, e-mail, text, or social media all seem to work just fine. Changing your relationship status on Facebook, for example, can let more casual acquaintances know about this change in your life. But keep in mind that Facebook posts can have an impact on divorce proceedings. Change your status, if you want the world to know about your divorce, but be careful how much you say and to whom. Heed the same warnings when texting the news. Texting is also being used more and more frequently as evidence during divorce proceedings.
  • The divorce party trend emerged several years ago””and today, there is quite a cottage industry surround them. Sending out “divorce announcements” or throwing a “divorce party” was once considered tacky, but more and more people are electing to mark the change in their lives with some sort of event. That said, divorce parties are not for everyone”¦
  • Something a bit more common””and less controversial””is a tasteful change of address card or notice. Often, these include the names of both parties to the divorce.

Divorce can be difficult to talk about””and challenging to announce to those we care about most. The most important thing is to find a way to let your friends, acquaintances, and contacts know the news in a way that is comfortable to both you and your soon-to-be ex. And be sure and consider the repercussions of an announcement if your proceedings are still in process. Use common sense and limit the degree of disclosure in your announcements to protect and respect all parties, including children, in the process.