Going through a divorce is hard. Telling your kid about it can be even harder. While there’s nothing enjoyable about this process, there are ways to make it gentler on your child.
Keep it simple
Regardless of your child’s age, your message as a parent should be short and to the point. It should go something along the lines of:
“We have decided we will no longer be married. This was not an easy decision to come to, but we both feel it is for the best. This decision has absolutely NOTHING to do with you, and we both love you and will always love you.”
Ideally, parents should both tell their child together. There is also no reason to share any unnecessary details about the divorce when you do so.
It’s not your fault
Your child may wonder or ask if the divorce was their fault, or if there was anything they could have done to stop the divorce from happening. Whether or not they ask it, make sure you and your ex reassure your child that the divorce is not their fault. Also reassure them that there was never anything they did or could have done to make it their fault.
Answer any unknowns
Explain to your child that they will have two homes now, and that they will be loved at both. Answer any questions your child may have. Some questions a child may have about a divorce include:
- Where will I live?
- When will I get to see you?
- Can I still go to the same school?
- Why did you stop loving each other?
Some children will have questions right away. Others may ask them as time goes on. Always be open to discussing any questions a child may have at any point.
We are always here to offer legal counsel if you or someone you love it going through a divorce.