Breaking the News to Mom & Dad and the In-Laws That You are Divorcing

Legal Services At

Stange Law Firm

  • Family Law
  • Support
  • Military Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce | Separation
  • Family Violence
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Property Division
  • High Net Worth Divorce

Breaking the News to Mom & Dad and the In-Laws That You are Divorcing

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 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, 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 alternative to divorce was made. Sometimes parents will offer suggestions such as seeing a counselor or advising them 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 for 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.


Prenuptial Agreements Line by Line

Aspatore Books from Thomson Reuters Westlaw

Strategies For Family Law Illinois

Aspatore Books from Thomson Reuters Westlaw

Strategies For Military Family Law

Aspatore Books from Thomson Reuters Westlaw

Protect Yourself By Understanding Your Options and Knowing Your Rights


SLF Icon


Stange Law Firm, PC

120 S. Central Avenue, Suite 450

St. Louis (Clayton), Missouri 63105

Toll Free: 855-805-0595
Fax: 314-963-9191
Group 144


Contact Our Team

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Family Law Legal Services At Your Fingertips


When you choose us, you don’t have to sacrifice quality or service. You get the resources of a large divorce and family law firm AND the attentive service of a local attorney.