Unfortunately, divorce can be incredibly stressful and emotional for families. Perhaps the most challenging part of this process is determining the best time to tell your kids about this situation.
Most individuals will have plenty of questions about how they should tell their kids about divorce. Some common questions include: How much should I tell them? How do I answer their questions? Should the parents tell the kids together or separately? Use our guide below to navigate through this difficult time.
Planning To Tell Kids About Divorce
Just because you are getting a divorce doesn’t mean you aren’t still their valued parents. It’s crucial to sit down and create a cohesive plan with your partner. Set a day and time to sit down with the children to explain the upcoming changes and offer support.
Timing Is Everything
It is very important to find the exact right time to have this tough conversation with your kids. Try to choose a day and time when there are few distractions or obligations. This will give them the appropriate amount of time to process the situation completely.
Divorce can ultimately affect children in many different ways. It’s important for the children to be reassured at this time that the divorce has nothing to do with them. Assure the children that the divorce wasn’t caused by anything they’ve said or done. Choose your words carefully during this conversation.
Telling the kids about the divorce will be difficult enough, so you certainly do not want to add more details about why your marriage has fallen apart. Explain to them in age-appropriate language to help them understand. Of course, you won’t explain your divorce the same way to a young child and a teenager.
A healthy conversation means your kids should walk away feeling the following:
- You both still love them and that will never change.
- You are still a family regardless of future living situations.
- You both tried to repair the marriage before filing for divorce.
- Anything they may feel (anger, sadness, etc.) is perfectly normal.
One common misconception is that it will only take one conversation with the kids. Parents need to expect to have several conversations with the kids regarding this issue.
Children may not fully understand this process and everything it means moving forward. They need to deal with things in their own time and at their own pace. Always be encouraging, and try to make your kids feel comfortable approaching you when they are ready and willing to talk.
Telling Kids About Collaborative Divorce
Parents who opt for the collaborative divorce process can avoid adversarial relationships and divorce in a more peaceful manner, overall. Couples work with collaborative divorce professionals from an array of specialties who can provide support every step of the way. Some of these professions may even be able to speak with the children to help give them a voice during the process.
There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.