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How to talk to your children about your divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2024 | Divorce

As a parent going through a divorce, you have a difficult decision to make and that’s when to talk to your children about the divorce. There often is not a good time to talk about divorce with children. Talking to children about divorce early is often better than later, but not before you know for sure that the divorce is happening

Once you have an idea of when you want to talk to your children, the next hard part is deciding what to say. Here are a few conversations you may need to have with yourself and your spouse before talking to your children: 

Should your children know what caused the divorce?

Divorce happens for many reasons. A large cause of divorce is likely caused by communication breakdowns, but addiction, parenting differences, abuse or cheating are also common causes of divorce. Do you want your children to know why their parents are getting a divorce?

This question could be answered differently depending on the age of your children. Children too young to understand the complexity of marriage and divorce may need a simple, nonrevealing answer. If you have adult children, you may consider being more honest with your answer. 

Should your children know what will change after the divorce?

Your children will likely see a lot of changes in their lives after the property division and child custody processes are done. You could prepare your children early for these changes. This can help children anticipate and adapt to major changes in their lives that could create emotional difficulties. Talking about these changes too soon, however, could confuse your children if the decisions suddenly change during the divorce process.

Are you prepared for your divorce?

Preparing your children for your divorce likely should come second to making sure that you are prepared for your divorce. There are possibly a lot of legal paperwork and decisions you will need to make in preparation for your divorce. You can reach out for legal help to discuss the process further.