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How to Talk to Your School-Aged Children About Your Divorce

Posted on in Children of divorce

St. Charles IL family law attorneyIt is one thing to tell your spouse that you want a divorce. However, telling your children that you and their other parent will be divorcing is another thing altogether. While parents are likely to worry about how their divorce will affect their children, it can actually be the best option for both the adults and children. Rather than experiencing regular conflict and tension between parents, children can benefit from growing up in a less stressful environment. When breaking the news of divorce, parents will want to approach the conversation in a way that helps children understand and prepare for how their lives will change.

Talking to Younger Children

The approach to telling your children that you and your spouse are getting a divorce is going to differ depending on their ages. A younger child may have a harder time understanding what a divorce means, but they could have an easier time adjusting to the change. If your children are far apart in age, you may wish to discuss the divorce with each of them separately. 

There is no definitive guide for telling your child about your divorce. Every family is different, and every child will have a different level of emotional intelligence. That said, here are some tips that may help you talk about getting a divorce with your school-aged children:

  • Work together. When talking to your children about divorce, it is helpful for both parents to speak to them together. This will give your children a sense that neither parent will be leaving their lives. It also prevents one-sided conversations and puts the divorce in a neutral territory for your children to understand.

  • Consider keeping things fairly quiet. A divorce is a long process, and your children do not necessarily need to be in the know until you are certain of your decision and moving toward a resolution. Depending on the divorce, the process can take a couple of months to a couple of years. This can be a long time for a child to be left in limbo, not knowing when or how things will change. It is also best to avoid talking about legal issues around your children and to keep paperwork out of plain sight.

  • Aim for simplicity. Once you are ready to tell your children about the divorce, remember that they might not be old enough to fully understand what is happening. Speak to them in simple terms about how your divorce will affect them. Emphasize that although one parent may be moving out of the house, they will still be part of the children’s lives, and both parents will always love them and be there for them.  

Contact a St. Charles Family Law Attorney

With experienced legal guidance, you can confidently help your young children understand how their lives will change after your divorce while making sure you are protecting your parental rights and your children’s best interests. Contact an experienced Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group. Schedule a free consultation by calling our office at 630-584-4800.



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