Mother talking to daughter that is sitting on a bed.

How Do I Tell My Child About Divorce?

Communicating with anyone about your divorce can be a challenge. For many, this is a topic that creates feelings of discomfort. Typically, you would first confront your partner about divorce or separation. After that, you may notify other family members or friends. But what about your children? Telling your kids about your divorce can be one of the most challenging steps in the process, but it is necessary. If the news does not come from you, they could easily find it elsewhere.

Simon, O'Brien, & Knapp understands how important your children and their happiness are to you, that’s why we want to provide tips for telling them about your divorce.

Communicating As a Team

While it may be challenging to have conversations with your ex-spouse, it is best to communicate with your children as a team. If the message only comes from one of you, your child could view this decision as something that can be blamed on the one parent giving the news. If you give the message as co-parents, this will communicate to your children that you are a united front and are on the same page about the divorce.

Know What to Say

Go into the conversation with something prepared. If you do not know what you are going to say, you could easily say something that you regret. There are several important things to reiterate with your children when you and your co-parent are discussing the divorce with them:

  • You feel as though the divorce is what is best for the whole family.
  • That both of you will always love them, and that is something that will never change regardless of your marriage.
  • You will work together as a united front to provide support and care for them.
  • That you will never ask them to choose between either of you and that you understand that they have a special relationship with each parent.

Having these talking points prepared can help you steer the conversation in a positive direction.

Don’t Place Blame

During a divorce, it is completely normal to experience feelings of anger towards your ex-partner. However, it is important to appropriately manage these emotions and avoid placing blame on your co-parent. Why? Directing fault towards your ex can make your children feel confused or even encourage them to place blame on themselves. It should be made clear that the divorce is no one’s direct fault, and that the children have no factor or role in it.

Reassure Them

If you notice that your children are starting to feel upset or stressed during the conversation, it is important to provide them with reassurance. Let them know that you will do everything you can to make sure that this will be a manageable transition for them. Tell your children that you are still a family and that they will always have both of their parents there to support them.

Find The Right Time

Think about the best time possible to talk about your divorce with your kids. For example, you don’t want to tell them right before they go to school or another activity. Make sure that you have ample time and space for them to process the information with you. Furthermore, you don’t want to give them the news right before one parent leaves or after. Discuss the divorce with them and then have a brief transition period so they can get accustomed to the change.

Needing Help With Child Custody?

While telling your child about the divorce is already difficult enough, you will have to also tackle conversations about custody itself. It is best to have an experienced family law attorney assist you with conversations regarding child custody. It is possible for you and your co-parent to reach an amicable agreement that benefits both you and your children.

Contact us today for help with your custody situation by calling us at (973) 604-2224.