Your separation or divorce will probably be one of the most trying times of your life, especially if you have children. You might find yourself wondering how exactly you tell your children about it, and how they’ll react to the news immediately and in the long term.
Here are some tips on telling your children about your divorce.
Do It Together
Unless you have separated in circumstances that involve it not being possible, you should always plan to tell your children the news of your divorce together. This presents a united front and tells your kids you still care about them. This will also help prevent them from blaming one parent over the other, as in most cases when a parent tells kids alone, they end up blaming the non-present parent. You should try to use ‘we’ as often as possible in the conversation, making it clear the decision is between both of you.
Don’t try to improvise, plan out beforehand how breaking the news will happen. First, you need to think about when to tell them. You don’t want to suddenly break the news and then send them off to school or bed, you want to allow time to talk and process. Next, you should plan what you are going to say. This can be different depending on the age of the children. You should probably divulge more information to a teenager or older child while trying to keep it more basic for younger children.
Your talk should include telling your kids why the divorce is happening, giving as much or as little information as you think you should be telling them. Let them know what will change and what will stay the same, such as which parent they’re going to be primarily staying with, if they’re moving or not, and any other changes you can think of. Reassure them about what will be staying the same, so they can take comfort in this when thinking about the changes.
Make sure that you respect their reactions, whatever they may be. They may be overwhelmed and shut down, or lash out angrily. All reactions to big news are completely normal, so you should try to work with them and reassure them everything will be okay. Above all else, make sure you give them time to adjust to the news.
Family Law Mediation
If you need assistance in your separation or advice on what happens to your children during and after a divorce, get in touch with Richards & Lewis. We are expert divorce and child custody lawyers, working to provide excellent legal advice that will make sure you come out of this bad situation as best you can.
Call us today on 01495 350 018 to discuss your case with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff, or visit our website now to find out more about the services we offer.