Talking to Your Child About Divorce

Let’s face it, divorce is difficult even in the most amicable of situations. This is especially true if you have children. We want to shield our children from any potentially negative impacts. While divorce can set a family up for a happier, healthier future, the transition period can be tough. This transition period begins the moment you tell your kids you are planning to divorce. How you approach the topic is critical for helping your children understand the situation while minimizing fear of the future and the potential for them to blame themselves. Communication is key. This is true when you talk to your children about divorce and as you navigate a new co-parenting relationship with your spouse.

How to Talk to Your Children About Divorce

Talking to your children about divorce is perhaps one of the most challenging conversations you will ever have with them. It merits putting some serious thought into the discussion before it happens. Plan out what you will say with your spouse. Get on the same page about how and when to have this conversation. Timing is important. Wait until you and your spouse are sure that you will be getting a divorce. Placing such a major life change on your child before you are certain can lead to a great deal of unnecessary anxiety. Children crave certainty and a concrete reality. When you know you will be proceeding with a divorce, sit your children down at a time that works for everyone. This conversation should involve both you and your spouse and all of your children. You should be sure to have plenty of time to have the conversation, field any follow-up questions, and have time to snuggle up with your kids afterwards.

Getting on the same page about this talk with your children is critical. This is easier said than done as tensions between the two of you are likely at an all-time high. When you might not be able to agree on anything else with your spouse, try your absolute best to form a united front when you talk to your children about the divorce. Showing your children that you are still a team of parents and that the decision was between the two of you, will help the children from assuming responsibility for causing the divorce. It also shows from the very beginning of your new journey as a family that you and your spouse are working together on this. Being on the same page with your spouse will also help prevent the children from thinking that they need to take sides.

Keep the talk as simple and straightforward as possible. You will have to scale it based on the age of your children and their level of emotional maturing. In any case, however, you do not want to bombard them with too much information. The fact that you will be getting a divorce will be enough to process as is. Open the floor up for questions and keep the answers to those questions simple and straightforward as well.

Be mindful of any potentially unusual or out of character behavior from your children after you have a discussion about divorce. Take care of each other and take care of yourself! At the end of the day, you are going through a big life change as well. Take the time to take care of you. Your children will reap the benefits of this as well. 

Florida Family Law Attorneys

The path to divorce is filled with difficult steps right from the beginning. The dedicated divorce attorneys at Orlando Family Team will help in any way we can. We are here to support our clients throughout the divorce process. Contact us today.