If you are here, you are already doing something right. Putting your child's emotional needs at the forefront of this difficult process. The age of your child will play a large role in how best to bring the news to them. You need to expect that children, like many parents in divorce, may have a wide range of reactions to the news. Children, often still developing empathy skills, will need to understand how the divorce will affect them personally. Here are some tips for breaking the news:
- Make a plan: It is important to have an idea of what you will say before you speak with your kids. Your children need to hear that you tried to make it work between you, but it won't. That you love them. That the divorce is not their fault. That you will both always be their parents even if you won't be married to each other. That they still have a family they can count on.
- Do it together: No matter how much animosity you may have for each other, it is rare to find parents that don't want what is best for the kids. While you may have different ideas about what this is, you should both agree to break the news of the divorce together. Remember, sharing this news is about your children. This is not the time for pointing fingers, or unloading your bitterness.
- Address everyone: No child wants to get this news from a sibling. As important as this is, be sure to sit everyone down at the same time to tell them together. Let each child know that you are open to discussion and that you want them all to have an opportunity to express their feelings and be listened to. Let them know that this is just the first of many conversations, and that you are open to their questions. Be honest with them, if there is information that you don't know, it is alright to tell them. The may have feelings of insecurity and need to know, now more than ever, they have honest, open communication channels with both parents.
We understand that divorce can be a harrowing experience emotionally, physically and logistically, which is why we have lawyers here to help. Having an experienced divorce lawyer can make all the difference to your process. Because we focus solely on family law, we understand the dynamics and can help guide you through your divorce. Please contact Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC for a free consultation regarding your divorce. For more information about collaborative divorce or mediation please visit our website.