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Tips for Telling Your Kids You’re Getting Divorced

Divorce is a tumultuous time for every family member involved, but it can be particularly unsettling for children. How parents tell their kids that they are getting divorced can significantly impact their children's emotional well-being. Our experienced family law attorneys at Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara have helped clients handle situations like this time and again, which is why we are able to offer thoughtful and practical advice about how to approach this delicate conversation.

Talk to Your Ex First

Before sitting down with your children, it's crucial that both parents agree on the key points of discussion. If you present a unified front, it will provide a sense of security for your children during this uncertain time. Decide together what you will say, emphasizing that the decision is mutual and rooted in the well-being of the entire family. Scripting your conversation ahead of time can help prevent the conversation from veering into emotional or contentious territory.

How to Tell Children of Different Ages You’re Getting Divorced

Children of different ages will understand and react to the news of a divorce differently. That’s why it's important to tailor your language in a way that is appropriate for their age:

  • Younger children (ages 3-6): Simple and clear explanations are best for younger children. Use gentle language and reassure them of the ongoing love both parents have for them.
  • School-aged children (ages 7-12): School-aged kids might benefit from a bit more detail but keep the focus on reassurances of love and stability.
  • Teenagers: Teens can handle more information and may have more direct questions. Be honest but careful not to burden them with adult problems.

No matter your children’s ages, perhaps the most critical part of the conversation involves reassuring your kids of your unchanging love for them. Clarify that while the family's structure might change, the love and care you have for them will not. Address any changes they can expect, emphasizing that both parents will continue to be actively involved in their lives.

How Do We Answer Our Kids’ Questions?

You should be prepared for children to ask questions. They may ask why the divorce is happening. It’s best to answer this in a way that is truthful yet free from blame. It's okay to admit if something is hard to explain but reassure your kids that the decision was made after a lot of thought.

After the initial conversation and your children’s questions, keep the lines of communication open. Children may not react immediately and could have more questions as they begin to process the information. Make it clear that it's okay for them to talk to you or your ex about their feelings whenever they arise.

How Do We Begin to Move Forward?

Navigating a divorce with children involved requires a lot of care, love, and reassurance from both parents. It might also be beneficial to seek professional guidance, such as family therapy, to help everyone adjust to the changes ahead. Remember, the goal is to prioritize the well-being and emotional security of your children as you move through this challenging period together.

Need Help with Issues Involving Child Custody, Visitation, or Child Support in Newport Beach? Contact Our Family Law Attorneys Today!

Are you dealing with issues like setting up visitation rights, temporary custody during a divorce, changing child custody arrangements, or creating a post-divorce parenting plan? If so, Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara is here to assist you. Our seasoned team of family law professionals has successfully handled tough cases. We can provide you with the expert advice and support you need to navigate this challenging time with a sense of calm and confidence.

Give us a call at (949) 229-8546 or contact us online today to schedule a confidential consultation with our family law legal team in Newport Beach, CA.