How to Talk to Your Kids About Divorce
Divorce is never easy, but perhaps the most difficult aspect of it is telling the kids. Telling your children that you and your spouse are breaking up is not something either of you should do on a whim, or that you should blurt out right before heading to soccer practice. Although breaking the news to your kids is never easy, below are some tips that will help you plan what to say and make it a bit easier.
Make Sure the Kids Know it was Your Decision
After hearing that their parents are getting a divorce, it is natural for children to think that it is their fault. They may also think they can fix the situation, perhaps by doing more chores around the house or getting along better with their siblings. It is crucial that parents always tell their children that the divorce is not their fault, and then tell them again. Let them know that the divorce was a decision the two of you came to together and that there are problems with the marriage, not the entire family unit. Also let them know that it was a difficult decision to come to but now that you have, it is final.
Present a United Front
You may be angry with your spouse at the moment, and even feel as though the divorce is their fault. The children do not need to hear this. They need to know that both of you made the decision together and that, although you are saddened by it, it is the right decision for each of you. Now is not the time to lay blame or try to get the children to take your side, and in fact, that should never happen.
Tell Them as Much as You Can About the Future
You may not know what is going to happen once the divorce is final, but your children are still going to have questions. Even if they are not aware of the term ‘child custody,’ they will likely wonder who they will live with, and if they will attend the same school. It is okay to not have all the answers, but enter the conversation with some answers for them. For example, if you know you are going to co-parent, tell the children they will still see both of you on a regular basis.
Make Sure the Conversation is Ongoing
There is a good chance that you and your spouse have talked about divorce during many different conversations. The same will be true with your children. Inform them that both of you are always available to talk, and expect them to come back with questions about the upcoming divorce. When they do, make sure you answer their questions openly and honestly and always be willing to talk about it with them.
Our Florida Divorce Lawyers are Here to Help
Your children are not the only ones that will need support during the difficult divorce process. When you need a listening ear, someone to help you through the process, and secure the most favorable settlement possible for you, our Orlando family lawyers at O’Mara Law Group are here to help. If you are considering divorce, or have already started the process, call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to arrange a meeting with one of our experienced attorneys.