It is not uncommon to face a divorce today. In many cases, the divorce process is settled between two people and only deals with a few matters, such as asset distribution and alimony. However, when kids are involved in a marriage or an unmarried relationship, then there’s often a lot more that needs to be discussed with regards to the kids.
You’ll eventually have to tell your kids that you’re getting a divorce or breaking up. While you could spring it on them the very same day that everything is finalized, that could greatly hurt their growth. Instead, you may want to make a plan as to how you’ll break the news about your divorce or break-up to your children. Here’s what you should consider:
1. Plan out what should be said
You likely can’t and shouldn’t discuss any of the finer details about your divorce or break-up. You also should not wait too long to tell the kids. As such, you may need to prepare what you’ll say to your children considering their ages.
Considering when you’ll tell your children the news is important. Talking to your children before school, for example, may create issues once they arrive. While talking about the divorce after dinner is over may allow them time to process the information, but may make it difficult for them to sleep. You may want to consider, if possible, telling them on a Saturday so that they have the rest of the weekend to process the information and ask questions. The most important thing to tell the kids is that you both love them and that they had nothing to do with the both of your decisions.
If you are uncertain about what to say to your children, consider consulting with a family therapist to help you.
2. Gather the family together
Speaking of when you should consider talking to your children, you may want to talk to your children as a family unit. Depending on the situation, your children still see you and your spouse as their parents. Your children will probably have many questions and it is always better for them to see you as united as their parents.
3. Let your children ask questions
Your children are likely going to ask questions, but that may depend on their age. You want to give the best answer possible – while leaving out some private or “adult” information. However, as stated above, you likely won’t know exactly how the divorce will end, but, by understanding your legal options, you may have a good idea of what the future holds.