How to Tell Your Children You Are Getting Divorced

For many parents, there is no “perfect” way to tell your children that you and your spouse are getting a divorce. So how should you inform your children about this life changing event? Read on to learn more about the different approaches you can take in communicating with your children about the dissolution of your marriage.

Tell Your Children the Truth

You should tell your children the truth about your marital dissolution. Parents tend to lie about the fact that they are getting divorced. In the long run, such lies only hurt your children and the relationship you have with them. You do not need to provide your children with a long list of reasons as to why the marriage did not work.

You can hold a family meeting to discuss the divorce with your children. If you have older and younger children, you may want to address the issue with them one-on-one before you discuss the matter in a family setting. Older children usually understand the concept of divorce clearer than younger children.

Avoid Criticizing Your Spouse in Front of Your Children

During the discussion, do not criticize your spouse in front of your children. This will only make the situation worse. You should consider seeking counseling to help you control your emotions and feelings throughout the process. Your children will be watching your actions closely during this time. You do not want to say anything that may jeopardize the relationship you have with them.  There should never be any discussion about court proceedings, settlement negotiations, or the terms of any agreement between you, except they should know the schedule of parenting time.

Reassure Your Children That Both Parents Still Love & Care for Their Well Being

Parents often get lost in the chaos of a divorce and forget to tell their children just how important they are to them. You should reassure your children that you will still maintain a relationship with them despite the divorce. You can take co-parenting counseling with your spouse to come up with an effective co-parenting plan. I recommend you include your children in the co-parenting sessions when appropriate to see how they are coping with the divorce, but only if recommended by the counselor. Also, let your children know that the divorce is not their fault, but due to the fact that you and your spouse can no longer work things out.

Tell your children that there is nothing they can do to prevent it

Not only do your children need to hear that the divorce is not their fault, they must also be gently told that they cannot do anything to change it.  Children tend to believe that if they didn’t fight so much, or did a better job of cleaning their room, their parents would still be together.  They need to know that these are decisions made by the adults and are in the best interests of all involved, including the children.

Call suffolk county divorce attorney David Vallone at 631-676-7100 to schedule a free consultation if you are seeking information about filing for divorce.


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