When you and your spouse decide to get divorced, there is more to think about than your finances and living arrangements. If you have children, you will need to discuss divorce with them and help ease their mind. This can be a very difficult thing for children to handle, but the following tips will help you break the news to them.
Time It Well
You want to be well prepared for talking to your children about the divorce, so don’t just spring it on them. Think about a good time to discuss it when everyone in the household is calm and relaxed. If you plan to tell them on a Wednesday evening after homework is done, but one of your children seems to be having a hard day, it might not be the right time. Also consider how soon to tell them before one of you moves out of the house. Waiting too long can make it difficult if they are shocked you are moving out tomorrow, but doing it too soon makes it confusing when they see you every day.
Make It as Simple as Possible
Your children do not need to know every issue you and your spouse have, or the long list of reasons you have chosen to get divorced. Try to explain the situation as simply and clearly as possible. Bring up the fact that you have decided you are no longer good together and will be divorcing and living apart. Let them know you have tried to work it out and believe this is the best choice for the family. Make sure they understand they have nothing to do with your choice to get divorced and that both parents will see the children regularly.
Talk to Them as a Family
It is best that everyone sit together while having this discussion. Do not tell one child at a time, risking that child telling their siblings before you get a chance to talk to them. Also do not tell them with only one parent present, unless it is impossible for the other parent to be there. This can be a confusing time for children, so if one children is not there, they might feel unsupported and unloved by that parent, or blame the one telling them. You need to present a united front so they understand it is a decision you made together.
When talking to your children about your divorce, make sure they know they are loved and are not at fault. For assistance, talk to an attorney like Law Offices of Peter Napolitano & Wayne Hibbeler.