Is there a right way to talk to children about divorce?

Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP

When you have children, it can be complicated to explain that you want to divorce your spouse. You and your spouse may already have spoken about getting a divorce and believe it’s for the best, but you’re not sure how to address it with your children.

Before you speak with your children about divorce, you should consider the way you want to bring up the subject. It’s normally best for both parents to sit down together as a team when discussing the divorce and what it means for their children. However, if you need to do so separately, that’s okay too.

How should you discuss a divorce with children who may not understand it?

There’s a chance that your child may not be old enough to understand divorce or that they could be wary of divorce based on what has happened to their friends who were involved in them. You know your children best, so sit down and think about their maturity level and how to talk about the divorce in simple terms. Be ready to answer questions such as:

  • Where will I live?
  • Don’t you still love me?
  • Is this my fault?
  • Will I ever see you again?

These might seem extreme, but for younger children, in particular, they are real concerns. Make sure you’re ready to explain that they are not at fault and how your custody arrangements will work with the other parent. Doing this will help them prepare, so that you and your spouse can focus on the other aspects of your divorce with your attorneys.

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