Reducing the Divorce Gossip

Have you decided that your marriage has reached the point of no return? If a divorce is inevitable, you’re going to have some difficult times ahead. Even if the divorce is 100% for the best, it’s probably still going to affect you mentally and physically. After all, the divorce process can be exhausting. There is so much involved in untangling the financial affairs with your spouse, it can lead to resentment and that’s only normal.

When you file for divorce (or when your spouse files first), your first instinct may be to tell everybody, from your boss, to your next-door neighbor, to your folks, to your best friend, to your hairstylist, to your bank teller. Or, you could be the polar opposite. Your instinct may be to clam up, hold it all inside and not tell a soul.

Either way, the news is eventually going to get out and depending on how you conduct yourself, you can control the gossip or it can spread like wildfire, adding fuel to your negative emotional state like gasoline.

To preserve your privacy and your dignity during these sensitive times, we recommend conducting yourself in such a manner as to minimize the news of your divorce. This way, you’re not having to re-tell your breakup story everywhere you turn, constantly igniting your raw emotions.

1. Don’t tell everybody until it’s over. Your divorce is your business. You are under no obligation to tell everyone that you are getting a divorce. It should be on a “need to know” basis. Our advice is to only tell people who need to know, and of course, to tell your closest friends and family whom your trust. You’re going to need extra support, but you don’t need to tell the 200 people who work in your office, the entire congregation at your church, or your 500 “acquaintances” on Facebook.

Once your divorce is finalized, you can tell whomever your wish. But by this time, it’s been at least six months since the divorce action was filed in court. You’ve had time to process the divorce, and you’re now in a much better mental state to speak about it.

2. Don’t change your Facebook status to single. One common mistake spouses make is they’ll decide to get a divorce and less than 24 hours later, they’ve changed their Facebook status from “married” to “single.” Not only does this hurt your spouse, but it opens the door to dozens of comments and direct messages. Out of respect for your marriage (and your kids if you have them), don’t change your status to single until your divorce is final.

3. Rehearse a divorce ‘story.’ Whether you’re telling the people who need to know about your divorce, such as your child’s school and your boss, or your divorce is final and you’re ready to tell everyone, it’s important to rehearse “your divorce story,” what you will tell people when they say, “I am so sorry, what happened?” This is the time to think like a PR specialist, or a celebrity who is announcing their divorce to the press.

It’s important not to say, “My wife cheated on me with our neighbor,” or “My husband had a closet drug addiction.” Instead, say something that is vague and does not belittle your spouse or the marriage. Something to the effect of, “We had our differences and decided it was best to go our separate ways.” You see, the less you say, the less people are going to gossip about your divorce. The more your dignity is kept intact.

We hope this post helped you. If you’re seeking a San Diego divorce lawyer, contact our firm to arrange a free consultation with a member of our legal team.