Divorce is rarely easy. The process of untangling your life from your spouse’s can be fraught with complexities that are hard-fought and emotional. The ramifications of how your divorce plays out can have long-term consequences for you, too, especially as it pertains to property division and child custody. However, setting the stage for your life post-divorce begins well before you even start negotiating your divorce settlement. For many people, it starts with telling their children that their parents are getting divorced.
Breaking the news of divorce to your children
A lot of people dread telling their children that their parents are ending their marriage. As stressful as it can be, there are some things that you can do to make breaking the news a little easier and, hopefully, minimize the emotional impact that it has on your child.
- Talk to your children together: As hard as it might sound, it’s best if you can talk to your children together with your spouse. This let’s your children know that regardless of how the divorce plays out, you’re still a family unit.
- Don’t blame: You might be tempted to lay the blame for your divorce at your spouse’s feet, but doing so can build resentment and make co-parenting much harder later down the road. It’s best to stay away from the blame game.
- Be reassuring: Divorce can be a confusing time for children. Reassure them that they’re not to blame in any way for the divorce, and that you and your soon to be ex-spouse will continue to love them no matter what. You can also let your children know that while a lot will change, there are a lot of things that won’t change. Focusing on the things that will remain the same can help provide your children with the little bit of stability that they crave.
- Expect emotions and listen: Your children will probably exhibit a wide range of emotions following news of the divorce. Expect them and be accepting of how your children are feeling. Listen to them and encourage them to ask questions. Being honest can go a long way toward building trust with your children.
For everything else, there’s legal help
Breaking the news of divorce to your children can be complicated and emotional. As hard as that is, it’s just the first step in your divorce process. If you want to make sure that you’re as protected as possible throughout the process, and that your children’s best interests are considered, then you might want to consider seeking out legal help.