Perhaps the most difficult part of any divorce is telling your children. In fact, breaking this news to your children may be the most important and nerve-wracking conversation of your life. So, how do you prepare for it?
Remember, your children will ask you lots of questions just minutes after the initial shock of hearing about the split. That’s why getting advice from a qualified family law lawyer before “the talk” can help you, your spouse and, most importantly, your children.
Children are most often upset because they are worried about their immediate security. But having emotional, situational and even legal answers ready for them can help ease their worries considerably.
Plan the timing of the conversation so everyone is as emotionally ready as possible.
Have a united front as parents. Prepare together to answer lots of basic questions from your children such as where will they live and sleep, who will pick them up from school and how their daily lives will be affected.
Make certain the conversation is age appropriate. Older children usually have more logistical questions while young ones are dealing more with emotional security.
Be prepared for the “blame” challenge. Most children want to blame the divorce on themselves instead of the parents. Again, prepare with your spouse in advance when responding to your children’s concerns.
Most importantly, let your children know that you love them unconditionally and that feelings such as sadness, depression and frustration are completely normal.
Your ultimate role – even as you may be heartbroken and feeling weak yourself – is to be a strong and supportive parent. This includes finding support from family, friends and your family law lawyer so you give your children the best of YOU during this challenging time.