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How Do I Tell My Kids We Are Getting Divorced?

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce LawyersEvery parent dreams of the perfect family. Unfortunately, many parents reach a point where they realize that getting divorced may be the best option for them and their children. When kids are constantly exposed to their parents’ hostility and disagreement, they can suffer emotionally, developmentally, and academically. For some families, divorce is the right option.

If you are ready to call it quits on your marriage and get divorced, you have probably spent a good deal of time thinking about how to tell the children. When is the best time to tell children about divorce? How much information should I tell them? What if my spouse is not ready to announce the separation?

Plan the Conversation Carefully

Telling your children that you and their other parent are divorcing is one of the most important conversations of your life. Consequentially, it is important to decide in advance what you will say and when. Experts explain that it is best to wait until you are absolutely certain before you tell the children about the divorce. If possible, sit down with your soon-to-be-ex and all of your shared children and have the conversation as a group. If you have children of varying ages, you may need to go back and have age-appropriate follow-up conversations with each child specifically. However, the first announcement should occur with every child present. Telling one child before the others can make them feel as if they have to lie to their siblings – which can increase their stress.

Do Not Overshare or Place Blame

Sometimes, parents simply grow apart. Their marriage no longer works as it once did. Other times, one parent’s infidelity or marital misconduct is the main cause of the divorce. When it comes to telling your children why you are divorcing, less is more. Explain that you and the other parent no longer wish to be married or live together but avoid blaming one spouse – even if the divorce is largely one spouse’s fault.

Explain What They Can Expect Next

Your children may have questions about how the separation and eventual divorce will play out. Will you still go on vacation together? Where will they live? When will they see each parent? If you are early in the divorce process, you may not know the answers to every question. Explain what you can about living arrangements and plans honestly. If the children ask you something that you do not know the answer to, do not be afraid to say, “I do not know yet.” Emphasize that you and the other parent still love the children and reassure them that everything will eventually be okay.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

If you are a parent planning to divorce, contact a Naperville divorce lawyer from Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. for help. Call us at 630-355-7776 for a free, confidential case review.


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