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How do I tell my children about my divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2023 | Family Law

Parents who are going through a divorce will eventually have to break the news to their children. It’s often believed that the earlier children know about a divorce, the better they are at adapting and adjusting to the changes that follow.

It’s not going to be easy to talk about divorce with your children. But, you may be able to make this easier by considering the following:

Consider the age of your children before you talk

The age of your children will likely affect how you’ll talk to them about your divorce. A child that’s younger than 5 years of age, for example, will likely have a harder time understanding what divorce means than a teenager around 15 years of age. 

Gather everyone when you break the news

The news about your divorce will likely drastically affect your children. It could create issues if one child knows about your divorce before the other. There could also be an issue if your children hear about the divorce from one parent first before the other. As such, you should consider planning a talk where everyone, your children and your spouse, can talk about the divorce.

Talk about what will be different and what will stay the same

Children often learn best with examples. The concept of divorce may not be easily understood, but the way divorce will change their lives may have a greater impact. When talking to your children, you may need to talk about what will change after divorce, such as where they’ll go to school or who they’ll live with. You should also stress what will remain the same, like the fact that you and your co-parent will still be there for them.

Let your children ask questions

Children often process information by asking questions. Again, this may happen differently depending on the age of your children. Older children will likely have a lot more involved questions than younger children. When giving answers, you may want to consider being as honest as possible without revealing too much information.

It’s often best to go into a talk like this with a plan. The more you understand about your divorce and what will happen after, the easier your talk will be with your children. Experienced legal guidance can help you plan.