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Tips to Telling Friends and Family About Divorce

If you and your spouse have reached the juncture at which you intend to seek a New Jersey divorce, you realize there are people who need to advise of the decision. You have family and friends that you believe you need to share the decision to end your marriage. With this in mind, there are some tips to consider following when telling friends and family about your plans to divorce.

  • Take your time
  • Tell individually or in groups
  • Prepare for emotional responses
  • Prepare for a range of reactions
  • Expect some changes in existing relationships
  • Prepare for unsolicited advice
Take Your Time

The first point to beat in mind when it comes to telling family and friends about your divorce is that you do not need to rush to an announcement. It is perfectly acceptable to take your time in letting other people in your life know that you are planning on pursuing a New Jersey divorce.

The bottom line, beyond your children, you do not have a particularly immediate obligation to talk to other people in your life about the decision to divorce. You do want to be as proactive as possible in letting your children know of the decision to end your marriage, using age-appropriate language,

Tell Individually or in Groups

In determining how to tell friends and family about your decision to pursue a marriage dissolution case, you face the question of whether to tell people in your life individually or in groups. This must be addressed on a case by case basis.

Understanding the need to approach this question on a case by case basis, there are some useful relatively general rules to bear in mind. First, oftentimes the ideal course is to advise adult friends and family individually of your decision to divorce. Second, if possible, parents are wise to try and advise their children of the decision to divorce in a group setting, involving the entire family. (The need for using age-appropriate language may make a group session impossible in order to ensure that children of all ages can readily digest the information.)

Prepare for Emotional Responses

In getting ready to tell friends and family of your decision to divorce, bear in mind that you likely will have a plethora of different responses from those you discuss the end of your marriage. These emotional responses can include:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Disbelief
  • Confusion
Prepare for a Range of Reactions

A particular person you advise of your divorce decision may experience more than one of the emotional responses discussed a moment ago. Indeed, a friend or family member might run through more than one emotional response during the course of the discussion about the end of your marriage. An individual might exhibit varying emotional responses over time as well.

Expect Some Changes in Existing Relationships

The possibility can exist for change in existing relationships with your certain friends and family members when they learn you’re ending your marriage. At the extreme end of the spectrum, it is possible that you might see the end of certain friendships when you make the decision to divorce. In other cases, relationships might be strained as a result of your decision to divorce

In addition, there very well may be people in your life who looked upon your marriage unfavorably. You might have people in your life that dislike your spouse. An individual or individuals in such a position might exhibit relief or happiness when learning of your decision to divorce.

Prepare for Unsolicited Advice

Finally, when you tell friends and family members of your decision to end your marriage, expect unsolicited advice from some people. It is possible that some such advise might be helpful. However, it is also highly likely that you will receive unwelcome “advice” as well.

New Jersey Divorce and Your Legal Rights

If you are preparing for or considering a New Jersey divorce, you best protect your important legal interests by scheduling an initial consultation with an experienced, caring marriage dissolution attorney at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen. You can schedule an initial consultation any time that is convenient to you by calling us at (201) 845-7400. Keep in mind that our firm charges no fee for an initial consultation and case evaluation with a New Jersey divorce lawyer from our firm.

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*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances