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Discussing Divorce with Your Parents

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 7 Dec 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Discussing Divorce With Your Parents

Despite the fact that you are an adult, you will always be someone's child. This means that your parents will always want what is best for you, and rarely will they be overcome with joy at the news that you are divorcing or considering a divorce.

Parents don't like to see their children hurt or hurting, and it is very likely that your parents will want to spare you the pain of divorce without knowing that there is a good reason for it. This can make discussing divorce with your parents awkward, and it may even seem that they are second guessing you.

When you do discuss divorce with your parents, make sure that you plan the discussion appropriately, set forth the facts, listen to their concerns and ultimately remind them that it is your decision. This may not make them any happier to hear your news, but it will set your mind at rest that you have acted like an adult and discussed your divorce gently but firmly.

Plan the Discussion Appropriately

The thought of discussing divorce with your parents may make you emotional, often due to fear that you have somehow disappointed them, so planning the discussion appropriately will help you feel more in control. To begin with, avoid crowded, noisy places and opt for a private setting if possible (unless you believe that their may be tears or screaming, then a public setting in which hysterics would be inappropriate may be best).

Try to limit the amount of alcohol imbibed by either you or your parents to lower the risk any inebriated reactions. Also, break the news face to face if at all possible. A lot of how clues about how people are really feeling can be observed in facial expressions and body language, so you'll want to be able to see these things to gauge your parents' reactions - and to allow them to see yours.

Set Forth the Facts

When breaking the news about a divorce (or the possibility of a divorce) to your parents, stick to just the facts. For example, if adultery occurred say so but don't go into details about who was involved, how they were caught or anything else that isn't strictly necessary. These details may emerge later, but they will likely serve only to muddle the present conversation and make everyone involved extra emotional.

Also present just the facts when it comes to practical matters. For example, if are looking for a solicitor or a new home simply say so, but do not relate every frustration about the search. If you will be needing support from your parents, whether emotional, financial or via their network of friends and/or associates, now is also the time to request this assistance in a calm and rational manner.

Listen to Their Concerns

There is little doubt that your parents will have concerns about a possible or imminent divorce, so be respectful and listen to them. If you have already thought of these concerns and have a plan in place for dealing with them, say so. You don't necessarily need to explain your thoughts, but it will likely keep your parents calm if you do. If, however, your parents raise concerns that you have not yet considered or for which you do not have any answers, it is best to admit this as well. A simple "I don't know" or "I'm not sure yet, but I'm thinking about it" should suffice.

Be warned though, that your parents will likely want to help you with your troubles so you may receive a number of phone calls or other messages in the future with ideas about how to solve your problems. If you do not want such a situation to develop then you will need to be upfront about your wishes.

Remind Them That it is Your Decision

However your parents react to your news, remember that the divorce is your decision - not theirs. This does not mean that you need to be rude to them, but it may mean that you'll need to reiterate that you are the one most affected by the decision and you will be the one making the decision. If necessary, say this outright so that there is no confusion later. Discussing divorce with your parents can be a sticky conversation. Start as you mean to go on by selecting an appropriate setting, stating only the facts, listening to their concerns and ultimately reminding them that whether to divorce or not - and how the divorce will proceed - is your decision.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Jems - Your Question:
My mother and I purchased a property together she paid the mortgage and I paid household bills and any loans.My then boyfriend lived with me, though our relationship was volatile, we married 7 years later. He has never paid my mortgage,though with the help of loans taken out by me helped upgrade the house.We separated 6 years ago, when he announced that he was going to take 1/2 my house, as yet no divorce is forthcoming. Knowing my mum paid my mortgage for 24 years and that he could get 1/2 share of my house hurts. I really need some advice.

Our Response:
You don't say how long you were married for as much would be dependent upon this. However, it is unlikely he would be entitled to half. First of all he may only have a claim to one third of the house's equity, and this depends upon the length of time you have been married. I advise you to seek legal advice. However, as a rule, the shorter the marriage, the less of a claim he will have.
DivorceResource - 21-Sep-17 @ 12:46 PM
My mother and I purchased a property together she paid the mortgage and I paid household bills and any loans. My then boyfriend lived with me, though our relationship was volatile, we married 7 years later. He has never paid my mortgage,though with the help of loans taken out by me helped upgrade the house. We separated 6 years ago, when he announced that he was going to take 1/2 my house, as yet no divorce is forthcoming. Knowing my mum paid my mortgage for 24 years and that he could get 1/2 share of my house hurts. I really need some advice.
Jems - 20-Sep-17 @ 2:41 PM
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