Divorce is not an easy decision to make and, regardless of how amicably you and your spouse might have come to this conclusion, you are both undoubtedly experiencing some difficulty in coping with it. If you share children, it will be even harder for them to understand the situation and the fact that their lives will be forever changed. It is crucial to break the news to them in a manner that will not only spare them pain, but offer them some clarity and support during a time of great uncertainty.
Before you tell your children about the impending divorce, consider these tips:
- Prepare what you plan to say: This is a big moment for your family, so going in without a plan is a big risk. You do not want to let your emotions get the best of you and influence how you break the news to them. Instead, write down what you will say, so you are able to review and revise it. In fact, you might want to draft this with your co-parent, so you are both on the same page when you have this discussion. It will help you avoid veering off track and keep the focus on your children. Even if you decide to draft your own plans, swapping them for review will still help you handle this talk in a united way that does not further stress your children.
- Think about what your kids might ask: Breaking the news to your kids is not just about talking to them, but also about answering their questions. Try to anticipate what you think they might ask and have some answers to these prospective questions ready, so you are not fumbling for a satisfactory response when the time comes. Generally, younger children ask questions pertaining to their daily schedules and where they will live. Be sure to keep your answers to these questions simple and direct. On the other hand, older children might have questions that are not as easy to address regarding the reasons for the split. When answering these questions, choose your words carefully and never overshare or blame each other. Arguing in front of them about who is responsible for the split will only cause them pain.
- Put some thought into when you decide to tell them: Choosing the right time to tell your children about the divorce is just as important as figuring out what to say to them. You do not want to tell them before sending them off to school or right before bedtime since this does not allow them the opportunity to ask any questions or begin a real dialogue to help them process the news. Choose a time when they will be home for some time after the discussion, preferably a weekend or a school break. You might want to avoid telling them during a holiday break, however, since this could end up tarnishing that holiday for them in the future.
- Be a team for your children: Your marriage is over, but you and your ex-spouse are still their parents and it is crucial for you to both be there when you tell your children and that you present a united front. It would be unfair for this burden to fall upon one parent, so do your best to set aside your differences and come together for your children during this difficult time.
Telling your children about your plans to divorce will not be easy, but with the right amount of preparation, you can make a big difference in how they are able to handle and cope with the news.
Colorado Springs Divorce Attorney
At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, our team of family law attorneys are here to provide counsel if you are considering a divorce. We understand that this is an emotional experience, which is why we are dedicated to helping you through this process as efficiently as possible while helping you achieve your goals.
Contact our office today for a consultation at (719) 602-5888 to get started on your case.