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Tips for telling your children about your divorce

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Divorce |

Making a decision to divorce often requires considerable thought. If you have children and you have come to the conclusion that your marriage is at an end, one of the biggest challenges you may face at the beginning of the process is telling them about the divorce.

Finding out about their parents’ divorce is likely going to cause them stress. It’s best if you have a plan for telling them so you can try to mitigate that stress.

Choose a suitable time

Talk to your children at a time when it’s quiet and private. They’ll need time to come to terms with the news, so avoid telling them when they have somewhere else to be. Ideally, you’ll be able to wait until they don’t have major life events, such as school finals, going on.

Tell them together

If possible, tell the children about the divorce with your ex and with all children present at the same time. This ensures everyone is getting the same information. It’s also a good way for you and your ex to present a united parenting front, which can go a long way in keeping stability present for the children as the divorce moves forward and beyond.

Prepare for questions

Most children will have questions when they find out their parents are going to divorce. You should prepare for these as much as possible. Think about things like how parenting time will work, where they will live and whether they’ll stay in the same school system. As you answer these questions and talk to them about the divorce, make sure you’re presenting facts and that you never make promises you can’t keep.

It may be best to have a temporary parenting plan set before you tell your kids about your decision to divorce. This effort will allow you and your co-parent to outline the terms that everyone will follow, so having it set before you talk to the children will let them know what they should expect. It may be helpful to get legal assistance as you get your parenting plan together so you can try to ensure that all relevant issues have been thoughtfully addressed.