If you know that divorce is the right choice for you and your entire family, but you are worried that your children will be heartbroken, confused, and suffer psychological damage caused by the situation, this blog post is for you.
At OMG Law Firm, we have seen countless concerned parents facing this exact predicament. Read on to discover our tips for breaking the news about your divorce to your children.
1. Have the conversation all together as a family.
Mom and Dad should tell the kids together instead of one or the other handling it alone. This helps your kids understand that you both still intend to be there for them no matter what. It also prevents one parent from presenting a biased view of the situation.
It is also important to tell all of your children at once. If, for instance, you tell your oldest child first, he or she may then feel responsible for protecting the younger siblings from the news. It can also be really upsetting if one child reveals the news to another before you were ready — it takes away your ability to control the narrative that they are hearing.
2. Reiterate that it is not their fault.
It is natural for children to interpret events like divorce as directed at or caused by them. Many children blame themselves for their parents’ divorce, especially if they have overheard arguments about parenting in the past. That is why it is so important to reiterate to your children that this is not their fault and that there was nothing they could have done to prevent this from happening.
3. Let them know it doesn’t change your commitment to them.
Children, especially the younger ones, look at their parents’ love for one another as one of the nonnegotiable truths in life—just like they look at their parents’ love for them. When this spell is broken, they may also question other things that they assumed to be true. You may assume your children know you love them and that this doesn’t change how committed you are to them—but tell them anyway.
4. Despite your differences, be a team.
It’s likely that a lot of frustration and turmoil led you to choose divorce. However, you must remember that you and your ex-to-be still share an important goal of doing what is best for your kids. You wouldn’t be getting a divorce if you didn’t think it would lead to a better future for everyone. For that reason, you should do your best to present a united front to your children. Let them know that just because you don’t want to be in a romantic relationship with your spouse anymore doesn’t mean you won’t continue working as a team when it comes to parenting.
If you are getting a divorce, remember that you will need an experienced family law attorney to stand by you and protect your rights. The OMG Law Firm is here to help. If you’d like to connect, please contact us right away.