It is only human nature for children to want their parents to remain married “till death do us part.” However, in some cases, that may not be possible. Regardless of whether infidelity played a role or a couple simply grew apart, it may be in everyone’s best interest to part ways. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40–50 percent of married couples in the United States get divorced. Telling your children about your divorce may be one of the toughest conversations you will ever have. Despite the difficulty and intense emotions that may arise, keeping your child in the know is crucial to a smooth transition.
Discussing Your Divorce with Your Children
Whether you think the divorce will come as a shock to them or not, keep these tips in mind when breaking the news to your kids:
- Timing is everything. Avoid telling your children about your divorce until you and your spouse are absolutely sure you plan on filing or have already filed. There is no perfect time or way to tell your kids about your divorce, but when you do, make sure the decision is concrete.
- Tell your children together. If you have multiple children, schedule a time when everyone can sit down and talk. You will not want a child to feel like they need to keep a secret from their siblings, and you do not want children to hear the news from someone else. By discussing your divorce with all of your children together, you can be sure the news comes from you and your former partner firsthand.
- Rehearse what you plan on saying. Communicate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse about what the two of you plan to say, as this conversation is not one you want to ad-lib. Be sure to take turns mentioning key messages such as: “We love you very much, and we will always be your parents,” and “This is not your fault; this is strictly between the two of us.”
- Avoid blaming one another or arguing in front of your children. The news of your divorce will likely upset your children, and arguing in front of them will only make matters worse. You can work to resolve your divorce-related disputes privately through methods such as mediation.
- Emphasize the fact that your relationship will not change. Just because “mommy’s and daddy’s” relationship did not work out does not mean the relationship you have with your children will change. Be sure to reiterate that you have their best interests in mind and that you all will get through this.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
If you and your partner have decided to file for divorce, one of the first steps is telling your children that your marriage is over. It is also essential that you seek professional legal counsel to guide you through the proceedings. Contact a skilled Wheaton divorce attorney from A. Traub & Associates who can assist you during the entire process. We will also make sure your rights to marital property and parenting time are protected. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 630-426-0196.