How to Tell Your Children About Your Divorce

Family cut out of paper

If you and your spouse made the decision to move forward with a divorce and you share children, you will need to tell them about it. Of course, this is a very sensitive matter and the conversation itself will likely be one of the most difficult either of you will ever have. However, the manner in which you deliver this news to your young ones will impact them greatly, so it is crucial to prepare for it.

Here are some suggestions to help get you through this conversation as well as any follow-up discussions that might arise later on:

  • Talk to them as a team: The idea of doing anything as a team right now probably does not sound feasible to you at the moment, especially if you and your spouse ended things on a severely bad note. However, the two of you must set aside any resentment or anger you might feel for one another to break this news to your children as a team. Doing so will help reinforce the message that although you will no longer be married, you will both still be their parents and want what is best for them. While speaking to them, avoid pointing fingers at one another or playing the blame game.
  • Choose the right time: It might be tempting to try to squeeze in this conversation right before dropping them off at school or before bedtime, but this will rob your children of the opportunity to ask questions or the time to properly process this difficult information. The best time to have this talk with them is usually before or during the weekend, so they have a day or two to mull it over and talk to you if any questions come to mind.
  • Emphasize certain key messages: During this conversation with your children, be sure to emphasize some essential key points. Let them know that the divorce was not their fault and they could not have done anything to prevent it from happening, remind them that you both still love them, and make sure they understand that you are all still a family. The family is simply going through some changes.
  • Tell them if you have a plan: No, you do not need to divulge any details that are unnecessary for them, but you might want to let them know about any plans that can potentially affect their lives. Will one of you move out of the family home? Where will their other parent live? If you know the answers to some of these questions, tell them about it. However, beware of making any statements or promises you cannot keep and, if you do not have an answer to one of their questions yet, be honest and tell them you are not sure.

In the coming days and weeks, you can also expect your children to have additional questions or even delayed reactions to the news, so be prepared for anything and try to be as available as possible to talk about any concerns they might have. Just make sure you do not hover around them too much to try to get them to talk about their feelings. Give them the space they need and be ready when they want to talk.

Call a Knowledgeable Divorce Attorney for the Help You Need

Are you getting a divorce? You will need an experienced legal advocate on your side to get through it. At K. Dean Kantaras, P.A., we have the expertise to help you navigate this complex process, so you can achieve the resolution you desire.

Contact our office at (727) 939-6113 to request a consultation with one of our top-rated attorneys.

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