There are a lot of unsettling things about divorce. You may be uncertain about your financial future, the emotional toll the process can take, and what people think of you moving forward. Those are all legitimate concerns, but if you have children then you’re probably most concerned about how they are going handle your marriage dissolution and how divorce could affect your relationship with them. While there are a number of things that you can do to protect your children and preserve your relationship with them, it all starts with breaking the news of divorce to them.
How to tell your children about your divorce
Telling your children that you’re getting divorced is no easy task, but there are some things that you can do to make the process a little easier. We hope that the following considerations will help you have a productive conversation with your kids.
- Be prepared: Have a plan going in. Don’t improvise. Know what you want to say and how you want to say it, and try to anticipate questions that might come up so that you can prepare some answers.
- Break the news together: You might be angry with your spouse, but telling your children about your divorce should really be a joint operation between you and your spouse. This way you can avoid looking like the bad guy and your children can better see that the divorce was a mutual decision.
- Avoid blaming: Even if your spouse is at fault for your soured marriage, try not to give that indication to your children. Doing so can breed resentment against both parents, and it can make co-parenting extremely difficult.
- Be reassuring: While there’s a lot that will change for your children after divorce, there’s a lot that will stay the same. Remind your kids that you will always love them and that they’re not at fault for anything. Let them know that they can talk to you whenever they want, and try to identify things that will remain the same even after the divorce is finalized.
Be prepared for the challenges ahead
Breaking the news of divorce can be the first emotional event of many in the divorce process. But this isn’t an endeavor that you have to face alone. Instead, you can work closely with a family law professional who can help guide you through marriage dissolution from start to finish so that you can start the next chapter of your life with confidence.