How to Tell Your Children You are Getting a Divorce
Telling your children that you are getting a divorce is never an easy thing to do. They may be too young to truly understand the situation or old enough to resent one or both of you for it. Learning that their parents are getting a divorce may leave a child with feelings of anger, sadness and confusion. Although your instinct as a parent is to protect your children, not telling them about the divorce ahead of time can be a bad idea. It is better for children to hear about their parents’ decision to divorce sooner rather than later.
How Divorce Affects Children
Divorce impacts a child’s life regardless of their age, but the impact may vary depending on the circumstances. A divorce means a change in routine, going back and forth between two households, and eventually watching each parent date again. A child may start to suffer academically, act out at school or at home, or they may only feel angry for a short amount of time and rebound after a few days. It all depends. However, it is important as the parent to help your children through the divorce process and give them opportunities to express their thoughts and concerns.
How to Tell Your Children About the Divorce
- Come up with a mutual divorce story. The first step in telling your children about the divorce is to make sure that you and your soon to be ex-spouse are on the same page about what you will tell them. It is also important that the two of you tell your children at the same time as a family.
- Do not play the blame game. Parents usually have different reasons for divorcing, so it is important for children to hear one version of the truth. Children may not like hearing that one parent is the cause of the divorce. They may feel forced to choose sides. Avoid sharing inappropriate information with your children. They should be able to interpret the divorce as a joint decision.
- Speak to your children in a way they will understand. Use age-appropriate language to break the news to your children. You should also give them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have or to voice any of their concerns.
- Pick an appropriate time. Avoid telling your children in public or around birthdays or holidays. You should expect a variety of different emotions from them including confusion, denial, and anger. Younger children may not truly understand what a divorce means and how it will affect their everyday lives.
Bucks County Divorce Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Provide Skilled Counsel for Clients Going Through a Divorce
Divorce is not an easy decision but may be the best decision for each party. If you have decided to file for a divorce, contact a Bucks County divorce lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Our experienced lawyers will help you through the process step-by-step while answering any questions you have about your rights. Contact us online or by phone at 888-999-1962 to arrange a free consultation. Our offices are in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, and we represent clients throughout the area.