Talking to Children about Divorce

 Posted on February 17, 2016 in Children of Divorce

children-and-divorceWhen you and your spouse decide that your marriage is irreparably broken and the best choice is to end it through divorce, you find yourself facing a series of difficult discussions. How you will divide your property, how you will divide parenting duties, and whether spousal maintenance is appropriate are all issues that may come up during the divorce process. One of the most difficult discussions you will have to have will take place outside the courtroom: telling your children that you are getting a divorce.

Make It a Family Discussion

Probably the most important step to take when telling your children about your plan to divorce is for you and your spouse to speak with them together. Find a calm, quiet block of time in your schedule and arrange a family meeting to discuss the divorce.

It is important that you and your spouse support each other during this discussion. Do not blame him or her or discuss what went wrong in your relationship. Instead, focus on what your divorce means for your family and the next steps you will take.

Do Not Just Speak. Listen.

Your children will have questions for you and your spouse. It is important that you make it a discussion rather than a lecture – listen to what your children say as well as what they do not say. Some questions you might hear include:

  • Why are you getting a divorce?
  • Will I still see you both?
  • Will we have to move?
  • Do you still love each other?

Children might also ask, sometimes implicitly, if their actions are the reason for their parents' divorce. Even if your children do not ask this, assure them that your divorce is not their fault.

Prepare for Multiple Discussions

Talking to your children about your divorce is not a one-time event. As you move through the divorce process and even in the months and years following, be prepared to discuss the changes that come with divorce with your children. Do not make the divorce a taboo topic – by speaking about it comfortably with your children, you are establishing that they are welcome and encouraged to discuss it with you.

As your children mature, the nature of these discussions could change. The level of detail that is appropriate for a young child might not be enough for an adolescent and in the years that follow your divorce, it could be developmentally appropriate for you to change how you discuss it with your child.

Work with a Kane County Divorce and Family Attorney

Talking to your children about divorce is not easy. For guidance as you tackle this difficult process and other legal processes that accompany your divorce, work with one of the experienced Kane County family attorneys at our law firm. We are here to help make the divorce process as easy as possible for you and your family. Contact our firm today to schedule your free legal consultation with us.





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