How to Tell Your Kids You’re Getting Divorced
Making the decision to get separated or divorced from a spouse is a big decision. It often involves a lot of preparation as you figure out each of your living arrangements and who gets what in the divorce. One important step not to overlook is letting the kids know about the separation or divorce. This is often a difficult step, but with the following tips, it can be done in the most sensitive and accommodating way.
Discuss the Topic With Your Spouse First
Talking with your spouse ahead of time can help manage your expectations. If possible, you and your spouse should do it together, rather than have one person telling them. Telling your kids together gives off the feeling that you’re still planning to work together as parents. Rehearsing what you’ll both say ahead of time can also be helpful.
Keep it Age-Appropriate
What and how much you tell your kids will likely depend on their ages. If your kids have wide age gaps, you might tell them separately. You can expect older kids to have more questions. If you prefer to tell them together, you could also always follow up with older kids later to find out if they have any more questions or concerns.
It’s best not to go into detail about the reason for divorce, even with older kids. Avoid blaming one spouse for the divorce, as this can lead to kids having feelings of resentment. Let the kids know they have nothing to do with your decision to divorce. Many kids blame themselves when their parents divorce, so discussing this topic from the start is important.
Time it Right
Timing is also everything. You don’t want to tell your child of an upcoming divorce on their birthday or close to a holiday. You also might not want to add the stress of a divorce to an already stressful day, such as before a big exam or after a tough day at school. Let them know that you have something important to discuss, and then schedule a time with them.
Provide Specifics with Plans
Kids may wonder what will happen with their day-to-day when a parent mentions that they’re divorcing. Try to be as specific as possible with your plans in the near and distant future. This helps manage their expectations and lets them know what they can expect. If you’re not sure yet who will stay in the house, or what the visitation schedules will be like, tell them. Let them know that as soon as you and your spouse work out more details, you’ll let them know. Try to maintain open communication and invite them to ask any questions they may have, now or later.
Kids may take some time to adjust after learning their parents are divorcing. Then, they may need more time to adjust again after the divorce is finalized. Going from a two-parent household to two, separate one-parent households can be overwhelming and confusing for kids. Planning out how you’ll tell them can help to ease the process for the whole family.
Contact a Moorestown Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Your Divorce in New Jersey Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Cordry Hartman LLC represent clients throughout the state, including Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Evesham Township, and Mount Laurel. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-452-4474 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 505 S Lenola Rd Ste 224 Moorestown, NJ 08057.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.