Maybe your parents and in-laws have suspected that all is not right with your marriage. Maybe they have offered advice along the way. Now, no matter what, the decision is official and it's time to break the unpleasant news that you are divorcing. Hopefully, they will accept the news gracefully and offer support and understanding, but the prospect of divorce facing one of their offspring may trigger unpleasant emotions including finger-pointing about "what went wrong".
Depending on your relationship with your spouse or soon-to-be ex, you may wish to break the news together or separately and to tell both parents together or separately. Whatever the decision, plan to tell your parents and in-laws before that they have a chance to hear the news from anyone other than yourself.
Time the Conversation
Schedule a time away from family gatherings or holidays and possibly on a work-free Saturday. Pick a private spot--your home or a private luncheon or even their home. Be timely--your parents and in-laws are grandparents of your children and deserve to be aware of your pending divorce and the soon-to-be changes in family structure.
Don't Place Blame
This is a hard one. The tendency is to tell both sides of the story and point out the shortcomings of the other. Rather, let both parents know that it is a joint decision that was made after every other possible alternate to divorce was made. Sometimes parents will offer suggestions such as seeing a counselor or advising to try a little harder to make it work. By stressing that you tried your best to make the marriage work, but are both unhappy and the decision was not easy, but made.
Request Understanding and Support
It is normal for parents to feel protective of their children. You may feel that your parents are in your corner while your in-laws support your ex. This is normal, because it is difficult for both sides to adjust to the transition especially if grandchildren are involved. By requesting understanding and support for your family as a whole, including grandchildren, you set the stage for both sets of parents trying to avoid negative comments about the divorce, you, and your spouse especially in front of your kids.
Certain Things Are Private
Deciding to divorce is stressful. The process of divorce is challenging. Down the road you may feel the need to confide in your parents, but maybe now is not the time. Certain legal details between you and your family law attorney should remain confidential until the divorce is final. You and your spouse are divorcing, but not you and your parents and even your in-laws. Keep the relationships warm--they are needed now and in the future. By keeping the doors open for advice and support, when needed, you offer respect to those you love and in turn generate respect of the decision that you have made.
If you are facing a divorce, Stange Law Firm, PC can help. Our attorneys are experienced in matters of divorce, child custody, child support, paternity, and other domestic relations issues because we focus exclusively on family law and deal with cases like this every day.
For a confidential half-hour consultation with a divorce attorney in Missouri or Illinois, call 855-805-0595 or visit us online.