Telling the Kids About Divorce
Going through a divorce can be a challenge. Something that might be even more challenging, however, is telling your children why you are getting a divorce.
Divorce is hard enough for adults to understand, as there are so many elements involved. While children don’t necessarily need to know all the details of the divorce, they do need to know important things, such as where they will live and who will take care of them.
This can be a hard discussion, depending on the age of your children. Older children have a better grasp of divorce. For younger kids, though, divorce is a complex term.
In any case, if you and your spouse are divorcing, you need to tell your kids as soon as possible. You don’t want your kids to hear the news from someone else. That would be very upsetting. Here are some other tips for telling your children about divorce.
Have a Plan
Don’t try to be spontaneous about this. This is probably one of the most important conversations you will have with your children, so make it count. Think about what you will say and what topics you will cover. Be prepared with answers to questions your kids may have. Also, plan the conversation for a weekend or some other time where the kids have time to think about the conversation. Talking right before school or bedtime is not a good idea.
Have a United Front
It’s best if you and your spouse can talk to the kids together. When these conversations are done separately, there is the possibility of conflicting information and badmouthing from either parent. By having the conversation together, you show your children that you are still a family and you are committed to their wellbeing, even though you and the other parent will be living separately.
Give a General Explanation
Your kids will want to know the reason for the divorce. It may be obvious if all you and your spouse do is yell and fight, but some kids may be blindsided by the divorce announcement. Be sure to give them an explanation, but not a specific one. You can tell them that you no longer get along. You can say that you are no longer happy and you have tried to work things out. However, refrain from badmouthing the other parent or mentioning topics such as affairs or finances.
Kids thrive on routine, so let them know what will change and what will stay the same. Who will they live with? Will they still go to the same school? Can they still participate in sports? Give them an idea of what their schedule will look like. Let them know that you are not divorcing them and that you still love them.
Seek Help for Your Divorce Case
Divorces are challenging, especially when there are children involved. It can be difficult to discuss divorce with them based on their ages.
The Dade City & Zephyrhills divorce attorneys at Madonna Law Group can guide you through the divorce process. We have resources available to help your children adjust. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (800) 557-0411.