What Is a Divorce Announcement?

Sergey Shok

By Divorce.com staff
Updated May 20, 2024


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You’ve likely seen celebrities announce their divorce in the media (always a joint statement asking for “privacy at this time” and proclaiming they have the utmost respect for each other). Divorce announcements aren’t just for celebrities.

Just as most people announce their wedding, more and more people now announce they are getting divorced. However, determining how and when to do this if you don’t have a publicist can be tricky.

Motivation Behind Divorce Announcements

There are lots of reasons why announcing your divorce can be a good idea, such as:

  • If you announce it first, you control the narrative.
  • You can decide exactly how much detail you want to share.
  • You can choose who you want to give the information to.
  • It allows you to begin to obtain closure.
  • You can let everyone know all at once instead of telling everyone individually.
  • It allows you to express appreciation for the people who are helping to support you.
  • It stops people from constantly asking you for updates on what is happening with your relationship.
  • You can ask people to support your children or respect your privacy.

There have been instances where announcing a divorce is news to the other spouse.

For example, Dean McDermott prematurely announced on social media that he and reality star wife Tori Spelling were divorcing when, in fact, the couple didn’t actually file until almost a year later.

Making a public announcement of divorce is one way to let your spouse know you are done with them, although this may not be the best way to end your marriage.

If you're looking for support in figuring out how to craft your message, if you should even say something, or how you're feeling about announcing your divorce, we recommend turning to our friends at Fresh Starts Registry.

Fresh Starts is the first divorce registry and has an expert resource guide of 120+ experts who can help you through divorce and beyond. Their divorce coaches, co-parenting coaches, therapists, and career coaches can help you figure out the words you are comfortable with saying publicly to family, friends, colleagues, and your community.

Don't forget to create a divorce registry at Fresh Starts and remind your community that that's a great way to support you as you rebuild and restock moving forward after divorce.

Choosing the Right Medium for Your Announcement

There are many ways to announce your divorce so you can choose the most comfortable path.

Social Media

If you want to publicly inform a large number of people at once, an announcement on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok can be a direct way to do this. However, not everyone you know or want to notify may be on social media or follow you there, so it doesn’t guarantee that the message will reach everyone in your life.

Keep in mind that if you change your status on social media from married to single or “it’s complicated” without telling people what is going on, you will get a lot of messages and speculation.

Email or Text

You could send a mass email or group text to people you select from your contact list, or you could send individual emails or texts. This is a less public way to let people know about the divorce and allows you to customize the messages to the recipients.

Directly or by Phone

If you don’t want anything in writing, you can let friends and family know when you see them or talk to them by phone or video call. There is nothing that can be forwarded or screenshot.

Send Invitations to a Divorce Party

Some people like to have a party to celebrate the end of their marriage. By sending an invitation to your divorce party, you can let people know your marriage is over and set the tone as celebratory.

Crafting Your Message

If you decide to announce your divorce formally, consider what you want to convey and the best words to use. When you choose to get a divorce, you are at a very vulnerable and stressful point in your life, so hasty decisions may not provide the best outcome.

A divorce announcement is your opportunity to tell this part of your story and to decide to whom you want to say it.

Consider the following when writing your message:

Consider If You Want Input From Your Spouse

Some couples can agree on when and how to announce a divorce, which means that close family members of one spouse are not taken by surprise if the other suddenly makes an announcement. If at all possible, discuss with your spouse when you will make the information public and the best ways to make the information known.

Some couples post identical announcements on their social media. Others write their own. Determine what works best for you.

If you and your spouse can’t agree or you don’t want to discuss it with them, you are fully within your rights to make your own announcement in any way you feel comfortable.

Keep It Positive or at Least Neutral

You might be able to say that you have ongoing respect for each other, will continue to co-parent, or will remain friends. Still, if you instead feel the opposite and are filled with anger or hurt, it is generally not helpful to make the announcement incendiary or filled with blame.

Doing so can make the actual divorce process more challenging, and if you will be co-parenting together, it can make that relationship challenging. Instead, strive for a neutral announcement that simply says you are getting a divorce.

Give only The Details You Feel Comfortable Sharing

There is no reason to include details such as when you separated, who is filing, that you tried marriage counseling, or who asked for the divorce. How much you want to say is completely up to you.

Share How You Feel If You Want

Although publicly criticizing your spouse in your announcement is not a good idea, it is a forum in which you can say you are sad or heartbroken. You can say you gave it everything you had, that you had high hopes for the marriage, or even that you wish things could be different.

Let your friends and family know where you are mentally and emotionally so they can support you moving forward.

Tell Close Family and Friends Personally Before You Announce

People close to you may feel hurt or blindsided if you make a public announcement without telling them privately.

Ask a Friend to Review It

Before you share your announcement widely, ask a good friend to read it for you. You may be filled with emotion and unable to notice typos. Having a friend read it can also give you a gut check as to whether you are sharing just enough and in the right way.

Never Announce Before You Talk to Your Kids

If you and your spouse share children, be sure to talk with them about the divorce before you share anything widely because it could get back to them. You want to be the one to control when and how you tell them.

What to Ask of Your Audience

When you share an announcement that you are getting divorced, it is also your opportunity to ask people to do or abstain from certain things. You could ask people to:

  • Keep the information private until you are ready to share it more widely
  • Not discuss it with your children
  • Not discuss it with you unless you bring it up
  • Support you in specific ways that will help you move forward
  • Not comment on your post
  • Contribute to a GoFundMe divorce lawyer fee fundraiser
  • Give you advice
  • Recommend a lawyer
  • Help you find a new place to live
  • Be ready to set you up once you are ready to begin dating

Conclusion: Owning Your Story

Announcing your divorce gives you the opportunity to take control of the narrative and choose when and how to share this significant life milestone you are coping with. Having the power to announce your divorce in your own way is empowering and prevents others from sharing your news or misconstruing your story or situation.

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