Explaining Divorce to Children
It can be challenging to talk to your children about divorce, and it can be difficult to know what to say. How do you help your kids through this difficult time? How do you know if you are saying the right thing? How much do you tell your children?
You are not alone, and you are not the first parent to face these challenges during a divorce.
At the law firm of Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A., in Palm Beach County, Florida we can help you through the difficult task of explaining a pending divorce to your children. We understand how hard it can be to tell your child about a divorce. Attorney Matthew Lane can provide you with the insight, advice and support that comes with more than 30 years of experience.Top Tips for Telling Your Children About Divorce
There are some key pieces of advice that can help you through the process of informing your children about an impending divorce.
- Be sure that you are in control of your own emotions and are able to impart information in a reasonable fashion. Do not reveal anger, disappointment, fear, frustration, hurt or blame.
- Both parents should agree in advance on how, when, where, and the answer to any questions as to why. If the parents cannot agree on the substance of this conversation, they should seek professional therapeutic advice and agree to follow that advice.
- Both parents should tell the children together and all children need to be told at the same time, unless otherwise advised by a therapeutic professional.
- Offer clear, honest explanations. Avoid elaborate details about your marital problems (e.g. affairs, sexual problems, money problems).
- Focus on what will happen to each child. Describe basic changes (e.g. living arrangements, financial changes, time with the other parent).
- Assure your child he/she will be told of all major developments and changes.
- Extend an invitation to your child to make suggestions that will be considered.
- Stress that your child is not responsible for the divorce, and that this is an issue between the adults. Emphasize that it is not your child’s fault.
- Reassure your child that the divorce does not weaken the bond between you and your child.
- Give your child a clear sense of an established place in each parent’s home (e.g. his/her own room, place for toys, toiletries).
- Impart that the divorce is an adult decision and that there is nothing that the child can do to change this.
- Tell your children that there are counselors with whom they can consult confidentially with questions.
- Give your children permission to love both parents.
- Assure your children that both parents love them.
For more tips on how to handle a divorce with children, turn to Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. We can provide you with the support and advice you need at every stage of the process. Contact us online or call us at (561) 363-3400. We respond quickly to scheduling requests; in most cases, we will provide you with an appointment for an initial consultation within 24 hours of the time that you call. Our law firm operates offices in Wellington, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.