How to Talk to Your Kids About Divorce
When children are involved, divorce can become more emotionally charged and complex than usual. It is important to help them understand why the divorce is happening, help them cope, and let them know that you are there for them. Here are some tips on how to have a conversation with your children about your impending divorce.
It is recommended that parents have some clarity regarding the basics of their separation before they tell their children about it. They are going to ask questions and, the more prepared you are to handle the answers they need, the more smoothly this conversation will go.
- Talk to your children together, working as a team. Your marriage may have failed, but you still have a common interest in making this transition as painless as possible for your children. You do not want to lose your temper in front of your kids during this conversation, so try to choose a time when you are not likely to become angry or argue with each other.
- If possible, have this conversation with them before the start of the weekend. It is more than likely they will have more questions as the reality of the situation sets in, so being available for them in the immediate aftermath is important in case they need to talk.
- Before you tell your children about your divorce, let their teachers know. This will prepare them for any acting up that may arise from your conversation with them. Their teachers will hopefully be more understanding of their behavior, but ask them not to mention the divorce unless your children initiate it.
- During your conversation with them, there are some important messages you will want to repeat and continue to emphasize long after the conversation is over. Let them know that the divorce has nothing to do with them and that there is nothing they can do to alter this decision. It is also crucial to let them know that just because you are divorcing does not mean they cannot continue to love you both equally. This may be tough for you as parents, particularly if there is animosity between spouses, but if you want to protect your children from pain or feelings of guilt, it is important to get this message across.
- If you can, tell them the plan. No one needs to get into anything overly detailed, but try to give them clarity on the elements that will directly impact them. Who is staying in the house and who is moving out? When one parent moves out, where will they be going and how often can they visit?
- Let them know that you will all get through this together. Sure, this is a difficult time, but as long as you let them know you will be there for them to help them adjust and adapt, it will reassure them that this is not something they will have to endure alone.
At Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, our Beverly Hills divorce attorneys understand that divorce is a uniquely challenging situation for a family to go through. We are here to guide you through the process and meet your concerns with sincere understanding and positive solutions. We have been serving clients for over three decades, accepting various kinds of family law cases, including legal separation, marital agreements, annulments, and child custody.
Call us for a consultation at 310-800-2132.