How to tell friends and family you are getting a divorce

8th March 2015 by


Relationship breakdown is never an easy subject to broach with friends and family, so Healys’ divorce solicitors in Brighton have put together a list of the do’s and don’ts when breaking the news.

First things first
It’s an extremely good idea to be absolutely certain that the time has come to make a permanent split before telling people that a divorce is imminent. Unless the relationship has been difficult and acrimonious for some time many people will be shocked when first told and may not want to instantly believe it is going to happen.

People’s reactions may be difficult to bear, particularly as relationship breakdown is one of the most difficult emotional times in life anyway. But, friends, family, and eventually colleagues and acquaintances, will have to be told, so it is a good idea to have a plan of action in place to start breaking the news.

It may be an idea to consult a family lawyer before attempting to tell people, so that when asked about issues such as the amount of time the divorce is likely to take and where spouses and children will live following the divorce, answers can be given based on sound legal advice rather than supposition.

How to tell people about divorce

  • It’s a really good idea to tell people about an impending divorce rather than to let them here from others through gossip. Always tell family and close friends as soon as reasonably possible, because it is easy to offend if the news is heard from another source.
  • As far as is practicably possible, it is best to inform people face-to-face, or at the very least over the telephone. Where this is not possible, a letter is best or perhaps a friendly email which expresses a wish to meet up so that the situation can be discussed.
  • When telling people who are incredulous, or perhaps in denial about a relationship breakdown, always make it clear that the divorce has been carefully decided upon, and that although it was difficult, the decision is final.
  • Hopefully, before telling people, it will have been possible to make decisions abut the arrangements for children, so that friends and family can be reassured that the welfare of dependants has been fully considered and is the top priority during the split.
  • It is always likely that some family members and friends will be hostile towards a divorce and will oppose any such decision. However, arguments won’t necessarily be helpful, so it is best to accept that some people are unlikely to understand the full reasons behind a decision to end a marriage or civil-partnership.
  • Lastly, be strong and prepared to state clearly and unequivocally that this is a final decision and that it will stand. Despite some opposition, your family and friends will usually only have your best interests at heart.

Healys Brighton divorce solicitors can offer expert legal advice
If you would like to obtain some legal advice on divorce before taking the plunge and breaking the news to your family and friends, call Healys today.

Our experienced team of family lawyers understands that each situation is different and that we can help best by listening sensitively, so that we may offer you the best advice to ensure your interests are maintained to the utmost.

For an initial discussion with divorce solicitors in Brighton why not call us today on 01273 685 888 or email an enquiry to

We are here to help.