How to Talk to Your Children About Your Divorce

How to Talk to Your Children About Your Divorce

Posted By Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich || 18-Apr-2018

In a divorce, one of the most difficult conversations you’ll ever have is telling your kids about it. For children, the breakup of the family unit can be devastating. Through their perspective, it appears to be the end of their world.

That is why it is imperative to be careful when breaking the news. Children at varying developmental levels naturally have a different understanding of divorce, the reasons for it, and what the future will hold. Therefore, parents must tailor discussions according to their children’s maturity.

The following are several effective tips to help you discuss your pending divorce with your kids:

  • Talk to the children together as a couple – Speaking to your kids as a united front makes it appear that both parents are prepared to work as a team. Make sure the both of you won’t allow tempers to flare or become angry with each other.
  • Address the entire family – It is wise to have this conversation with the entire family present and then to follow up with each child separately. However, if you’re concerned that your older child is going to react angrily to the news or upset the younger child, you and your spouse may want to speak to each child individually.
  • Keep messaging clear and simple – For kids of all ages, the message should be quite simple and clear. Leave out all of the messy details that could lead kids to believe that they need to fix the issue or that they are the cause of the divorce. Tell your kids that mommy and daddy will be both happier, each of us will continue to be an important part of their lives, and there will be two homes where they will be loved.
  • Encourage them to discuss the divorce with you – While it may take time for your children to process how they feel, you should expect them to have many more conversations with you throughout the process. The first discussion is essentially a “door opener” to ongoing dialogue and questions between you and your kids. Both you and your spouse should be open to answering questions and responding to your children’s emotional needs. Furthermore, e ready for any reactions. The kids who ask a lot of questions need to be answered and reassured over and over again.
  • Make sure your kids know it’s not their fault – Children need to know that there is absolutely nothing they have done that caused their parents to decide to split up. It needs to be reinforced continuously that the decision to separate was an adult decision, based on adult issues. Kids must know that the problem is between their parents and that it’s not theirs to fix.
  • Let your children know you will all get through this – Let them know that everything will be okay, you will be okay, and you will all help each other adapt and adjust to the changes coming.

If you are interested in filing for divorce in Riverside County, CA, contact Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich and request a free consultation with our experienced family law attorney today.

Categories: Divorce