There’s something about publicly announcing your divorce that makes everything seem so final. This is it. There’s no turning back.
Before announcing such a life-changing event to friends and family, think about what you want to say. Even if the marriage didn’t end on the best of terms, then resist the urge to share the causes of your mutual unhappiness with the rest of the world on social media or in a group email. Instead, take a deep breath- and then take the following steps.
Talk to your former spouse first
If the two of you remain on friendly or at least civil terms, then talk to your former spouse before sending out the announcement. Explain why you think it’s necessary and solicit their feedback on what information belongs in the text. If they believe that it’s a good idea, then invite them to get involved in drafting the contents. If they’re opposed, then at least you were respectful enough to inform them about your intention beforehand.
Frame the content to suit the audience
It’s likely that your immediate family- parents, siblings, grandparents- already know about the upcoming divorce. With close relatives, the natural move is to tell them personally. This broader announcement should inform extended family and friends who are not part of your immediate circle.
Once you start to write, keep it short and sweet. These people don’t need to know that your spouse cheated on you or had a gambling problem that diminished marital funds. Be honest, but don’t go into unnecessary detail. The point is to let the message recipients know that you and your spouse have decided to divorce and that you don’t want this personal change to affect your relationship with existing friends.
Don’t use social media as an announcement forum
Although using your Facebook account will give you the highest possible reach, it’s hardly the forum for discussing an intensely personal life change like divorce. If your friends list includes co-workers and professional acquaintances, then they will see your status along with everyone else. If you prefer to keep your work and personal lives separate, then going on social media may break that divide.
Avoid sending the announcement to work email addresses
Whenever possible, avoid sending your divorce announcement to a work email. Many people are not allowed to receive non-business emails at work. If your only contact for them is a work address, then call or text them and ask for their personal one.
Writing a divorce announcement will be painful at first, but once it’s done and you’ve sent the right message, you’ll feel a sense of relief. You’ve now gained some closure and can take the first steps towards your new life with a sense of honesty and integrity. If you are considering filing for a divorce, then you should speak with a qualified attorney. Jayson Lutzky is a divorce lawyer with over 35 years of experience. He has helped thousands of highly satisfied clients file for both uncontested and contested divorce over the years. He offers free in-office initial consultations and can be reached at 718-329-9500. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com/Divorce to learn more.