Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Divorce
While it’s certainly not easy to talk to your children about your divorce, it needs to be done sooner or later. It is important to plan out the conversation in advance so you can anticipate any potential reactions or questions, and make the conversation as successful as possible, given the circumstances.
Here are a few tips that will help the conversation go smoothly.
- Find the right time: Don’t have the discussion with your kids as soon as you and your spouse make the decision. It’s important you show a united front, have the discussion together and find an appropriate time and setting for that conversation.
- Be prepared: The two of you should have a game plan for the conversation before going in—it isn’t something you should bring up on a whim. Talk about the things you will discuss, and the most important issues for you to get across—mostly that you still love and support them and will always be there for them.
- Don’t go into details: There’s no need to discuss the reasons for your divorce, and you should definitely not get into any arguments in front of them. It’s best for your children if they do not know the reasons and thus do not have one parent to blame.
- Explain what happens next: Ideally you and your spouse should already have come to some basic agreements on immediate action steps, including who will be living in the home, what sort of child-sharing arrangement you’ll temporarily have and other such basic issues. You can be upfront with your children that you do not know all of the details yet, but you should at least have enough decided that they know you are building a plan and that they will still be safe and be able to spend time with you both.
- Do not give them choices: Even if they’re older and capable of voicing their opinions, it is unfair to give your children a choice in where they live or what they do—it places a significant emotional burden on them and makes them feel like they’re choosing between their parents.
For more information about the best strategies for talking divorce with your children, contact an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.