One of the most difficult parts about going through a divorce is how it will affect your children. Minimizing the negative impact it has on them begins with the first conversation. Consider these points when deciding, “How do we tell our kids we’re getting divorced?”
Remember to always think about the children when breaking the news about divorce:
- Timing matters. Be sure to wait until your decision to divorce is a certainty. Informing children when you are considering divorce will only lead to confusion. Also, be sure to select a good time for the discussion. Avoid times when either you or your children have plans or a place to be immediately afterwards. Understand that they will need time to digest the information.
- Make it a team effort. Discuss what you plan to say ahead of time and then tell your children together. Emphasize that, first and foremost, you will always love them and that will never change.
- Tell your kids that it is not their fault. Give your children an external reason for your separation that they can handle. Avoid the blame game. Make it clear that it isn’t their fault or either spouse’s fault – even if that is not your perception.
- Keep it simple. Don’t share inappropriate information or adult details with your children. Use terms they will understand and limit the initial explanation to a few key sentences.
- Manage expectations. Tell your children as specifically as possible what to expect in the upcoming months. (Where will they live, how often will they see each parent, etc.) Once those expectations are established, stick to them.
- Welcome questions. Be receptive to any questions or concerns your children may have. These may be voiced immediately following your announcement or in the weeks/months that follow. Understand that this is a big change for children and give them time and space to adjust.
While emotion can run high during a Florida divorce, it is important that you understand the impact it can potentially have on your children. Be sure to manage the process to avoid turning them into collateral damage.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss your divorce, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.