What’s the best way to break the news to your children after deciding to get a divorce? While this may be one of the most difficult conversations you have to have, it can be an opportunity to help your children begin the healing journey.
As a parent, it’s natural not to know what to say or how to say that you and your children’s other parent are splitting up. Similarly, children may not know how to ask for the information they need during this time. Both children and parents may shy away from having painful conversations to avoid hurt feelings. However, it’s essential to have these conversations about the change in the family dynamics, no matter how hard it may be.
Here are some tips on how to make the “divorce talk” with your kids as effective as possible:
When to Tell Them
Once you and your spouse have decided you want to get a divorce, tell your children shortly after. Sitting on the news for too long can be damaging in the long run for your children. However, telling them too soon can also cause unnecessary stress or anxiety if you and your spouse don’t have all the basics worked out yet. For example, if you decide to try to work things out with your spouse, this could potentially confuse and stress your child out even more.
The best time to tell your children is once you and your spouse have fully made the decision to get a divorce and have started creating a plan of what life will look like when you two are no longer together. You want to have all of the crucial details worked out so that you can provide your children with as much information as you possibly can give them. If they know what is happening and what to expect, they will feel less overwhelmed by the news.
Be Direct and Honest
Let your children know that you are going to be open, honest, and candid with them about the details of the divorce. Explain why you and your spouse are splitting up in a way that they will be able to understand. You don’t have to go into too many details, but give them enough information to understand why this is what you need to do.
Be clear that this decision has absolutely nothing to do with them - it’s solely because of you and your spouse’s issues with each other. Just because you are getting a divorce doesn’t change the love you have for them.
Discuss What Will Be Different
Explain what will change in your child’s daily lives and that you and your spouse will work together to keep things as similar and predictable as possible. Inform them that they will always know what is going on when it comes to holidays, school events, and other custody schedule situations.
Encourage them to ask you questions. You want them to be sure they know that if they are confused about something, they can come to you with any uncertainties, and you will be able to help them through it. Don’t make them feel as if this needs to be kept secret; you want to foster a positive environment where they don’t see the divorce as something to feel shameful about.
Speak to a Divorce Lawyer from The Woodlands
When starting the divorce process, you probably need help and support for yourself. At Parchman Law Group P.L.L.C., we understand how difficult a divorce can be, which is why our Woodlands family law attorneys are here to walk you through every stage of the divorce. We will provide you with the legal support you need to save money, minimize conflict, and protect you and your family’s best interests.
Give us a call today at (713) 364-0777 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced, compassionate Woodlands divorce attorneys.