Divorce Law

Divorce – reactions you can expect to see

Telling people close to you that you are getting a divorce is never going to be enjoyable for you – and you have to expect them to react to the news too.

Similar to grief, there is no right reaction to hearing that a friend or family member is splitting from their partner. When you tell your nearest and dearest that you are getting a divorce, you should be aware that they may not have thought about it before, so their reaction may not be ideal.

Obviously you need to be honest if they upset you with the way they respond, but keep in mind that they may act differently once they have had a chance to process the news – they are only human. In contrast, you should expect local legal representation such as Putney solicitors to maintain a professional outlook on the case at all times, as it is their job to do so.

Below are a few of the reactions you may encounter:


There will be a lot of people for whom your news will come as a real surprise, so they may be lost for words at first. You will probably be able to read almost immediately how they feel about the situation by the way they react – a calmer response could suggest the thought had crossed their mind.

When someone is completely surprised they will often have a huge number of questions to help them understand the news; while you may be happy to share everything with your best friend, do not be afraid of shutting down a conversation if you are not comfortable opening up yet. People will understand if you just say that you would prefer not to talk about it yet.


Another natural reaction to bad news is for your loved ones to be sympathetic. Your friends and family will want only the best for you, so to hear that you are splitting up with a person you love/loved will prompt them to offer their sympathy for your situation. Rightly or wrongly, this can sometimes cross over into over-sympathy, but do try to remember they are trying to help.

They may worry about the situation – where you will live, your finances, etc. – and make it out to seem like your divorce is a truly terrible event, when in fact you have steeled yourself as well as planned how you will cope without your partner. If somebody ventures into over-sympathy territory, then it may just be easier to change the subject.


For some, the automatic reaction to negative news is anger, so you might find that they criticise your husband or wife and take your side completely. This can help you blow off steam but is not particularly healthy in the long-term, so avoid getting bogged down in conversations about how horrible your partner was, as no doubt some part of you still cares for them.

The flip-side of this is that a handful of people may react critically towards you – perhaps members of your partner’s family – and this generally does not go anyway healthy. If you want to bury the hatchet with them then think about writing them a letter, as this allows you to offer a more considered response to their criticism; however, do not feel like you must always explain yourself.

Author: Chris Brown has a great deal of experience with solicitors in UK and hopes you will find his articles of use. For further info on divorce lawyers visit