Is your marriage on the rocks? If so, you’re probably concerned about what the future will look like. While you and your spouse will certainly have to find a way to sort out a lot of legal issues, including property division, alimony and child custody, there are probably some other issues that you’re more immediately worried about. One of them is probably breaking the news to your kids that you and their other parent are getting divorced.
Breaking the news of divorce to your children
Giving your children bad news is never easy, but discussing divorce with them can be even more challenging. This is because marriage dissolution can threaten to upend life as your children know it, leaving them with a lot of unanswered questions. Your children will probably be worried about where they are going to live, when they’ll see the other parent, and what school arrangements will look like.
So, breaking the news of your impending divorce might be tough. But here are some tips that we hope will make the process a little bit easier while providing your children with the comfort that they need during this difficult time:
- Be honest: You don’t want to lie to your children about why you and your spouse are getting divorced. After all, your kids will find out the truth eventually, so be honest with them. That’s not to say that you should share every detail of your marriage’s failing, but you should give them some true justification so that they can eventually understand the purpose of the divorce.
- Be reassuring: Remind your children that you and their other parent will love them no matter what happens, and that they aren’t to blame for the divorce in any way. Let your kids know that you’ll always be there for them when they need you.
- Don’t play the blame game: In the anger that’s caused by divorce, it can be easy to blame the other parent for the divorce when explaining the situation to your children. But don’t do this. It only creates confusion and resentment in your children and the other parent, both of which can cause long-term issues. So, try to show respect to your spouse when discussing divorce with your children and try to talk to your children together with your spouse so that there’s unity in your approach.
- Let your children express their emotions: Your children are going to experience a rollercoaster of emotions once you break the news of your divorce. Let them feel the anger and the sadness and help them explore and express their feelings. Your children might blame you for the divorce or say hurtful things to you. But it’s okay. They’re trying to grieve for the loss of their family as they know it. Help them get through this trying time.
There are other ways to comfort your children while you help them navigate the divorce. Providing them with routine and consistency can be key, so make sure you’re talking to your spouse about how to best create the routines that support your children’s interests.
Navigating your divorce with care
We know that the divorce process, even when uncontested, can be difficult to handle. But you and your children will get through this. But if you’d like some assistance in navigating the logistics of your marriage dissolution so that you can move onto your new normal as quickly as possible, you might want to consider reaching out to a family law firm for assistance.