Here’s how to write a divorce announcement that is brief and matter-of-fact, plus a sample announcement of a divorce. The purpose is to inform friends and associates, and give them new contact information.
How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide by Laura Brown is where I found these tips on how to write a divorce announcement. I love this book – it’s an invaluable resource and guide for writing anything – and I’ve used it to write everything from blog posts to complaint letters to sympathy messages. When I saw Brown’s tips for writing divorce announcements, I had to share them with you.
Writing a divorce announcement can be an empowering act of closure. If you take charge of telling your friends and associates that you’re moving on to a new stage of life, you may find it easier to cope and move on after a divorce. A divorce announcement is a formal message that is typically handwritten or printed on cards, and mailed to friends, work associates, and acquaintances. Below is Brown’s advice on how to write this type of letter, plus a sample divorce announcement.
What have you already learned about writing divorce announcements? Before you read my tips and the sample divorce announcement below, take a moment to think about what you already know. Tell me – I welcome your big and little thoughts in the comments section below.
How to Write a Divorce Announcement
Announcing your divorce is becoming more common because it not only updates your friends and associates about a major life change, it also allows you to control how the information is sent (but not how it will be received!).
Here’s what to do – and not to do – when you’re writing a divorce announcement. These tips will help ensure you don’t get carried away by emotion or “divorce drama” when you share the news.
Revise your first draft before sending it
“Brainstorm what you want to say in your divorce announcement,” writes Brown. “If you and your ex don’t draft the announcement together, it’s smart to share notes back and forth before you finalize a draft.”
You want to ensure you don’t forget any critical information, made any mistakes, or accidentally or purposely insulted your ex-spouse. In addition to collaborating with your ex when writing a divorce announcement, show the first draft to a good friend or close family member. If you get objective feedback, revise the announcement.
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Adopt a brief, serious, businesslike tone
One of the most important tips on how to write a divorce announcement is to be brief. Don’t describe how painful getting divorced was or provide a list of divorce gift ideas. Save your personal information and explanations for face-to-face communication.
“Don’t try to be funny,” writes Brown. “Humor is very difficult to achieve successfully in a divorce announcement. Sometimes couples try to soften the blow by writing a funny announcement about the divorce. These often fall flat and leave the reader feeling uncomfortable.”
Don’t send the divorce announcement to readers’ work email accounts
A written card is one tip for writing divorce announcements that Brown mentioned repeatedly. “Don’t put in an e-mail anything you don’t want to reach a wider audience,” she writes. “Remember that e-mails can be forwarded. Protect yourself from embarrassment, or worse.”
Also, don’t mention anything in the divorce announcement that you haven’t confirmed with your ex-spouse. Logistical details about visitation, upcoming moves, job changes, etc aren’t appropriate in an announcement about a divorce.
Provide new contact information
The point of writing a divorce announcement is to provide new contact information. Your cell or mobile phone number may not change, but you may have a new mailing address, email address, or even Facebook page. Let your friends and associates know when the changes will take place.
Will your name change after you go about divorcing your husband? Read How to Change Back to Your Maiden Name After a Divorce if you’re undecided. Brown didn’t provide this tip how to write a divorce announcement, but it seems like a good bit of information to include.
Make sure your ex knows you’re writing a divorce announcement
The first tip on how to write a divorce announcement was to collaborate with your ex-spouse…but what if this is impossible or unnecessary?
You should still let him know that you’re sending an announcement of your divorce and what’s in the letter. Why? Because the point of a divorce announcement is to make things easier, not to stir up conflict!
If you receive a divorce announcement, it’s important to respond to it. Simply acknowledge that you received it and let them know that you care about their welfare. Take time to collect your thoughts before writing a response to the divorce announcement, and pay attention to your tone. “Your reply should be kind, serious, and brief,” writes Brown. “Deeper discussions may happen at a later time.”
Sample Divorce Announcement
Remember that you don’t want to draw your readers into your “divorce drama.” You want to protect your privacy, and avoid sharing unnecessary personal information.
We regret to announce that after 14 years of marriage, we have made the difficult decision to divorce. Our divorce became final last month.
Lisa will remain in the house, which will also continue to be Devin and Kerry’s primary home. Ken will live at (his address) from (date). Our cell phone numbers and email addresses will remain the ame.
We thank you for many years of support, and look forward to seeing you soon.
Lisa and Ken Hoyt
Another sample divorce announcement:
After five years of marriage, Chris and I have made the decision to divorce. The divorce becomes final this month.
I will resume using my maiden name, and be known as Gina Mazzei. The children will keep the name Carlson.
Thank you for all your love and support,
A question for you
How do you feel about writing a divorce announcement? Tell me below. Sometimes it’s helpful to share your feelings before drafting a letter, to get your juices flowing.
While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of writing a divorce announcement. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.
If you’re struggling with the aftermath of getting divorced, read How to Deal With Your Fear of Being Alone.
My next article is about how to adjust to being alone. Make sure you sign up at the bottom of this post to receive new articles. And remember…everything is going to be alright! Maybe not today, but eventually.