One of the most difficult and heartbreaking conversations you’ll ever have is talking to your children about your plan to divorce. Even if you know divorce is the right decision for your family, it won’t make it easier.
Regardless of how old your kids are, divorce is going to bring a massive change in their lives. Having parents break their marriage commitment, witnessing the loss of love between parents, and adjusting to going back and forth between two different houses to stay connected may all seem very overwhelming, to say the least.
Speaking to an experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney can help you navigate your divorce with the least amount of conflict and stress. Jay Davis has built his practice on a foundation of prompt and dedicated legal advocacy for families. People who turn to Jay know what they are getting: brilliant legal representation, swift personal communication, and relentless advocacy in pursuit of their legal goals. Call Jay at 617-221-3548 or contact us online.
This following guide will help you break the news of your divorce to your children in a way that minimizes the hurt and confusion.
Create A Thoughtful Plan First
It’s not advised to simply tell your kids “Hey, we are getting a divorce!” out of nowhere. You should plan when and how you are going to tell them. To give you an idea, don’t break the news when your kids are enjoying happy moments like a birthday or a holiday. Also don’t tell them when they are distracted, sad, or tired. Choose a moment that will be least impactful, like a weekend when the family is together.
When the right time comes, use a calm and gentle tone; it’s better if you have a speech planned. In other words, don’t just blurt it out impulsively in the heat of the moment. It will hurt your children and may even cause them lasting emotional damage.
Do It Together With Your Soon-To-Be-Ex Spouse
It doesn’t matter whose fault the divorce is — when it comes to the kids, both of you are in this together. If you tell your kids about the divorce together, without arguing or blaming each other, it will help enforce the idea that this decision is best for everyone.
Simply tell the kids that you tried to work things out, but you two are on different pages, and that you have realized a divorce will allow all of you to be happier and healthier. It’s important that the kids hear this life-changing news directly from mom and dad; not from an aunt or a grandparent.
Tell All Your Children at the Same Time
If you have older kids, it may feel tempting to tell them first before you tell the little ones. After all, the older they are, the better they can understand why you are getting the divorce.
But this is not a good idea. Have this conversation when your entire family is together. If you have more than one kid, they will be able to support each other during this difficult time. Don’t force one child to deal with the pain alone when you tell them to “keep it a secret” from their brother or sister.
Give Them a Concrete Picture of the Future
Once you disclose the news to your kids, they are bound to ask questions like where will they live and will they still get to see both of you? Don’t answer their questions with “we don’t know” if you want them to feel safe and secure during this transition. You and your spouse have probably already decided who is taking the kids and who is leaving the house, so tell your children that. Remember, you need to provide some sort of stability and certainty for your children. Do not leave your children in suspense as they won’t know what the future will bring for them.
If you yourself don’t have all the answers yet, it will help to consult with a divorce attorney. With more than 22 years of experience, Massachusetts divorce attorney Jay Davis understands how to swiftly identify legal issues and deliver desirable results for clients. For a free legal consultation of your case, call Jay at 617-221-3548 or contact him online.
Explain the Reasons
It’s not vital to provide specific details about exactly why you are planning to get divorced. For example, if your spouse cheated on you and that’s why you are divorcing them, your children don’t need to know the gory details of their affair.
However, your children will want to know why this is happening so they can understand why their whole lives are about to change. So, while you may not want to share more personal details, give them a general explanation without blame, like “We both want different things in our lives.” or “We tried to fix our relationship, but we can’t seem to make it work.”
Do Not Blame Each Other
It’s possible that you and your spouse remain great friends while deciding to divorce, but it’s more likely that you are not on the best terms right now. You may want to tell your kids all about how your spouse is responsible for breaking up the family because “Daddy had an affair.” or “Mom is leaving us.”
This will force your children to choose sides in a situation where, often, there are no winners. And this won’t be healthy for them. So, keep in mind that the “truth” is less important than providing reassurance and support that your kids need.
Want the Best Legal Advice for Your Divorce? Call Jay Davis
Helping children navigate the divorce process takes time, patience, and resiliency. By working with a compassionate attorney experienced in divorce and custody matters, you can ensure a healthier outcome for your children as well as yourself.
At Davis Law Group, we are dedicated to ensuring your best interests and a smooth transition for your family post-divorce. If you have any questions or concerns about your filing for divorce or pending divorce matters, you can fill out this short online form. If you want to talk directly to Jay, call 617-221-3548.
James H. (Jay) Davis III
Thank you for reading. Need to talk? 617-221-3548