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Divorce: Breaking the News to the Kids
Divorce can be difficult – not only for the adults involved but for any minor children that are brought into this process. Several studies focus on how parents tell their children about divorce, but few address or even discuss the children’s reactions. While this conversation is not easy, it will also be an opportunity for both parents to tell the kids – first and foremost – that they are loved and to show that, as a family, each parent will meet each child’s needs and answer any questions.
Guidelines to consider when breaking the news of divorce to your kids
- Talk to your former spouse before you tell the kids – putting aside any hurt, resentment or other negative feelings for each other, it is important to make a decision together as to when, where, what and how the children will learn of the change. Having this conversation, which may get heated, in front of the kids is not fair to them
- Tell the kids together, if possible – presenting a united front, even if this is the only topic where there is unanimity, sends an important message to the children that the former spouses can work together despite not being able to work out the marriage. Moreover, telling all of the children at once is just as important so that no one child hears about it second-hand
- Speak generally about what is happening – children will want to know why their parents are separating. A general discussion and explanation as to why you two are splitting up, along with broad answers to questions, will help ease the minds of the kids
- Stay calm and do not blame – how you tell your kids about the divorce is just as important as telling them because they will temper their level of anxiety and whether to expect good or bad things in the future based on your emotions
- Be specific about what changes they can expect – the children will be curious as to where they will live, who they will stay with, and what in their regular routine will differ. Help the kids be prepared for this new chapter by being honest about what is known and what is unknown.
- Give them time to adjust to the new normal – while you may be certain that your children’s future will be bright, it is important to give them some time to see that play out before their own eyes. Be patient with each child’s needs and remain a steady presence in his or her life.
Divorce Help in Tempe
If you or someone you know is considering divorce in Arizona, contact a knowledgeable and sensitive Tempe divorce lawyer right away. Serving clients in Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee and surrounding areas with all types of family-law related matters, the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack, in Phoenix, can work to resolve your family dispute in or out of court. Contact to schedule your initial case evaluation today by calling 480-345-2652.