Going through a divorce is always a challenging process, and children can make the dynamic even more complicated.
When it comes to your divorce, you want to make sure your children feel supported and loved by both parents. That makes it important to understand how to talk to your children about your divorce.
Then, when it comes to the legalities of your divorce — whether your divorce is amicable or more complicated — make sure you go through a family lawyer. Lopez & Wilmert in La Mesa is here to help make the entire process smooth and ensure that both parties walk away with what they want and are entitled to.
How to Explain a Divorce to Your Children
While divorce is something between you and your spouse, it also impacts your children and family. There are different things you can do to support your children during your divorce and let them know that they’re still loved and supported.
Think About Timing
Don’t involve your children in you and your spouse’s decision to divorce until you’re sure that you’re moving forward with the process. Bringing children — especially younger children — into that conversation early on can negatively affect them. Discuss your separation between yourself before you move forward with telling your children.
Plan What You’re Going to Say
When you have the first conversation with your children about your divorce, make sure you’ve discussed together what you’re going to say. Have answers for questions you anticipate your children asking, like where will they live, who’s moving out. While you might be getting a divorce, putting on a united front for your children will make this entire process easier and less challenging for them.
Don’t make the entire process sound too complicated for your children — even though we know divorce is always filled with different complexities. Just give them the basic information, that you and your spouse will no longer be living together, and talk to them in a calm and loving voice. This will create a positive experience for your children.
You don’t want your children to hear different stories over why their parents are divorcing. Regardless of what happened in your relationship with your spouse, try not to blame your spouse when you’re talking to your children. This will keep a strong relationship between your children and both parents. Otherwise, children can start to resent one parent over the other, creating a challenging relationship between them and that parent.
Make it Age-Specific
Make sure you take their age, and what they can understand, into account before you discuss your divorce with your children. Their age will have an impact on the kinds of questions they will have and how they will react to the news.
Younger children won’t understand any of the larger, more complex aspects of this. So just let them know that both their parents love them, but they will be living in separate houses. For example, a six-year-old will likely accept your explanation without having any further questions. But middle schoolers might ask why, and if you both still love them the same. Then teenagers will have a lot more questions or a greater understanding of why you are divorcing.
Acknowledge They’re Sad
While you want this entire situation to be smooth and easy on your children, tell them that it’s okay to be sad. Their lives will be impacted by this change, so let them know that it’s okay to be sad about that change!
Emphasize What’s Staying the Same
It’s easy for your children to just focus on what’s changing. But instead of letting them dwell on those changes, let them know what things will be staying the same, and that you both will still be their parents.
Ask Them How They Feel
After you’ve told your children that you and your spouse are divorcing, give them a chance to share their feelings. This is a good way to better understand how they feel about the divorce and let you talk through any concerns or questions they still have.
Find Family Lawyers in La Mesa
At Lopez & Wilmert in La Mesa, we know that sometimes marriages end in divorce. Make the entire process smooth when you work with our team of family lawyers. Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation with our family lawyers today.
Our blog is here to support you through the entire divorce process, including alimony, child custody, prenuptial agreements, and more. Read through some of our previous posts: