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How should we tell our children that we’re getting divorced?

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2023 | Family Law

Divorce is an unfortunate fate for some marriages. And it can be a devastating experience for everyone, especially the children. While divorce may be the best long-term decision in many instances, breaking the news about it to one’s kids can be quite difficult.

During divorce, children are likely to wonder if they did something to trigger this transition. They may also wonder what will happen going forward and whether both parents will still be in their lives. These are three tips that can help your kids to feel more at ease as you break the news to them.

Put their best interests first

For kids, divorce may seem like a loss of either parent, a family unit and/or life as they know it. Thus, it is not uncommon for kids to go through a grief period during divorce. This will often manifest in the form of emotional instability, withdrawal, rebellion and anger. As a parent, put yourself in the shoes of your children and work to understand what they are going through. Listen to them and, most importantly, encourage them to speak out and articulate their true feelings.

Keep your explanations child appropriate

If you have younger children, chances are they may not understand the complexities of divorce. In this case, keep the communication simple and steer clear of complex information that might confuse them. You do not have to feed your children every single detail. Sometimes, doing so might cross the line, especially if one party is to blame for the divorce. Consequently, you might end up being accused of parental alienation. So, keep the information that you provide simple and child appropriate.

Do it together

It is important that you break the news of your divorce to the kids together, if at all possible. This way, they will take note of the unity, and this will help them handle the transition. During this meeting, give them the assurance that you will both be in their lives and that you will always put their best interests first. This is also the perfect moment to talk about the living arrangements going forward and how parenting time will be handled.

Divorce can be a difficult experience for everyone involved. Learning how to break the news to your children can help them cope with this difficult life event in healthier ways than they otherwise might.