Hi Honey, Let’s Get Divorced.

INFORMING YOUR SPOUSE, FAMILY AND FRIENDS

How you tell someone about your divorce plays a large part in how he or she will react to the news.  If your spouse does not already know, try telling someone else, first, to practice what you will say.  Decide what your goals are:  to hurt your spouse?  To be free so you can wed again?  To move forward with your life?

Financially:  decide how much you can afford, and then weigh that against what you are willing to fight for, and willing to let go.

Be open to what your spouse might want or need from a divorce:  How much time to get mentally prepared?  Knowing that he or she will not have to move?   A specific piece of furniture, jewelry or electronics which may have greater sentimental value than market value?  Honestly consider that person’s feelings, to the extent you can, and tell them as kindly and gently as possible that you want a divorce.

Is this someone who would rather have the news by letter, in person, in a restaurant, or over the telephone?  (I know — if you knew how to make them happy, we wouldn’t be having this discussion!  But think about the most and least likely scenarios before dropping the bomb.)

The recipient of the news will probably take it badly, regardless (remember, divorce sucks!!).  But, the less fuel you add to the fire right now, the less the fire will burn.

You do not have to be in this alone.  But, neither is every person you know or meet on your team.  The team roster is listed below.  Use it.  Think about these people, and who they are, and where they fit in.  Line some of them up in advance, even if only hypothetically, so that you have practice saying what you need to say.  Do not make the mistake, however, of letting your spouse feel as if everyone in the world already knows and has been chuckling behind his or her back.  Once you start spreading the word, be ready to tell your spouse as soon as possible.

What if the news has already been given, and you are already at odds with each other?   Remember, it is never too late.  Step back, take a breath, see things from the other person’s side to the extent that you can.  And, when you are ready, be willing to approach that person with a fresh perspective and an open mind.  And, again, think in advance the best way to approach him or her to help guarantee success.

There are two people who you want representing your position to your spouse:  you and your lawyer (through your spouse’s lawyer).  NOT “helpful” friends or relatives.

What we love:  Your divorce should be a process in which each step you take leads to a shorter and healthier process.  This is the first step towards a healthy and sane divorce.

Published by Sharon Oberst DeFala

Sharon Oberst DeFala has practiced low-impact safe divorce since 1992.

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