How to tell the kids you’re getting divorced
When couples announce that they are getting divorced, it usually isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. Rather, it’s probably been something they’ve thought about for a while, or in some cases, tried to ward off by seeking marriage counseling. But, these details aren’t always forthcoming, so when children learn that their parents are splitting up, it can be quite a shock.
While child custody is one of the most challenging aspects of the divorce process for most couples, telling their children about their decision to get divorced is almost as difficult. If you’re thinking about moving forward with breaking up or have already made the decision, here are some helpful tips on how to tell the kids you’re getting divorced:
Consider Their Age
A five or six-year-old is going isn’t going to have the capacity to understand certain details as easily as a 13 or 14-year-old would. And, even then, there may be details you don’t feel comfortable sharing with your young teen as you would your 18 or 19-year-old.
This is why considering their age is so important when deciding what details to share and how you explain what’s happening. Also, younger children may be more concerned about the new family dynamic, hopeful that their parents will get back together, whereas older teens may have a lot of questions about their new living arrangements. Consider their age and what questions they may have so you can be prepared to answer them.
Let Them Know it’s Not Their Fault
Upon learning that their parents are getting divorced, many children may wonder if it’s their fault. However, when you break the news of divorce to them, it’s imperative that you remind them that this isn’t true.
Listen to Them
Once you’ve broken the news, it’s not like the conversation of divorce is going to go away. Instead, it’s likely that your children are going to have questions, even if they can’t find the words at the moment.
Be open with them, and let them know that you’re happy to answer any questions they have. While it may be your parental instinct to want to shield them from anything that could make them sad, children may be more fearful of the changing family dynamics if they’re kept in the dark. This can ultimately make your divorce process more challenging.
Present a United Front
Though you and your soon-to-be ex may not be in the best spot, it’s imperative that you both present a united front when telling your children about divorce.
While you may have harsh feelings toward one another, remember that your children don’t share those feelings. Avoid bad-mouthing their parent in front of them, because this can harm your relationship with them.
Contact A Clark Family Law Attorney For A Consultation About 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 Team Law represent clients throughout the state, including in Camden, Passaic, Union City, and Bayonne. 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 1-800-TEAM-LAW or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 136 Central Ave., Clark, NJ 07066, as well as offices located in West New York, Perth Amboy, Edison, Summit, Newark, New Brunswick, Orange, Plainfield, and Jersey City.
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.