You’ll have to make a lot of preparations when going through a divorce. One thing you may need to consider is how you’ll break the news to your children.
Talking about divorce may seem complicated, but, in practice, you may find it much easier than you believe. Here’s what you should consider:
1. Make a plan
It’s important to make a plan as to how you should talk to your children. Children of different ages may need to be talked to at different levels. Children up to five years of age will not likely benefit from a long conversation about divorce, while pre-teens and teens may greatly benefit from a detailed explanation of their parents’ divorce and what to expect.
2. Talk as a family
Your children still see you and your co-parent as a family. It may be important to them to show that you will both be there for them — despite the divorce. As such, you should plan out a time with your spouse so that you can talk as a unit.
Furthermore, the time and place you talk to your children about the divorce may also be important. Talking to your children before school or bed may give them the wrong impression and cause them anxiety and grief. You could, for example, talk on a weekend so it gives your children time to process this new information.
3. Be honest about changes
Your children’s lives are going to change a lot and they may not realize that yet — but you shouldn’t pretend it’s not going to happen. That could set your children up for some big disappointments. Talk candidly, if positively, about changes in their living situation, schools or other aspects of their lives.
4. Let your children ask questions
Depending on your children’s age, they may have many questions. Questions often help children understand and process new information. You can consider answering as many questions as you can, but some might be too private or not finalized.
By getting legal help, you may be able to answer not only your children’s questions but some of your own as well so that the whole divorce process becomes less intimidating.