If you are a parent who has begun the divorce process, you will need to discuss the divorce with your children. Your divorce will affect them too and they deserve to know what to expect as you work through the divorce process and in the coming years after the divorce is finalized.
Talking to your children about your divorce can be tricky, but do not put it off. Use the following guidelines to start this important series of discussions and if you need further guidance, ask your lawyer about how to broach the topic and answer your children’s questions appropriately.
Tell your Children About the Divorce Together
It is important that you and your spouse tell your children about your divorce together. This way, the pressure is not on one parent to be the “bearer of bad news.” If you have more than one child, break the news to them together as well, rather than creating a scenario where one child knows about the divorce and the others do not.
Answer your Children’s Questions in an Age-Appropriate Manner
Although you should tell your children about the divorce together initially, you might want to have a separate conversation with your older children that gives a more detailed explanation of the divorce process and what they can expect. Consult an online guide or speak with a child psychologist to understand how best to answer children’s questions according to their ages.
Focus on the Future
The end of your marriage is the beginning of the next chapter of your family’s lives. When you talk to your children about your divorce, talk about the changes they can expect, such as spending time with each parent on a fixed schedule. If you already have a plan for life after the divorce, such as which parent will retain the family home, tell your children this plan. Emphasize that you will continue to both be involved in their lives and part of future milestones like graduations and birthdays.
Keep Adult Emotions and Conflicts Out of your Discussions with your Children
Although it can be difficult to put your disagreements and negative emotions about your spouse aside, it is important that you do so for your children’s sake. Do not blame your partner for causing your divorce or discuss specific details about why you are choosing to end your marriage. If you find yourself becoming upset during the discussion or feeling like you will lose your patience with your partner, calmly walk away, collect yourself, and return to the room.
Work with an Experienced Clinton Township Divorce Lawyer
Divorce can be difficult for every member of your family. If you and your spouse have decided that it is best for you to file for divorce, you need to tell your children about it together in a mature, supportive way. For legal aid and guidance as you tackle this and other sensitive issues during the divorce process, work with an experienced divorce lawyer. Contact our team at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today to set up your free consultation with our firm.