Should I Talk to My Children Before a Divorce?

Divorce is challenging for all involved, but none so much as the children. While spouses are concerned about multiple issues, children facing a family fracture need one question answered more than any other: who will take care of me?

No matter how difficult your divorce may be, it is essential that you and your spouse do everything in your power to make sure your kids feel safe and well cared for, and that is why it is important to talk to them before you and your spouse separate and to do so thoughtfully. As anxious as you may feel, you will find things are much easier once you’ve opened the lines of communication and made clear that you will answer all of their questions, and that you will be there for them.

This conversation is not something to be blurted out. Make a plan so that you are sure that you know what you are going to say – and what is best left out. Here are some tips to help you with the process:

  • Do not be afraid to use the divorce. Children need clarity and they need to know that what is happening to them is something that happens to other people. They don’t need to know the details of why as much as they need to hear that both of you will still be there for them.
  • Remind your children that you love them and that will be true whether you and your spouse are together or not.
  • Do not pretend that everything else will remain the same. Be frank with them about the fact that some things will change, and that there will likely be two separate households. Explain that you don’t have all of the answers to how everything will shake out, but that every detail will be addressed in time and that they can come to you with questions.
  • Do not blame each other or show your anger towards each other. Your children have probably sensed that things between you are not good, and there is no reason to tell them why. Be respectful of each other when presenting the news to your children, including letting each other speak. Again, plan what you are going to say in order to ensure that everything is kept peaceful.

Divorce is never easy when children are involved, but you will get through it, and so will your children. For help navigating divorce’s challenges, contact our divorce attorneys today.