How to Talk to your Children about Divorce
For many parents who are embarking on the process of separation, telling your children can be an intensely painful and difficult task. The chances are that by the time you’ve decided to tell your children, you and your ex-partner may have already worked through many of your feelings and begun to accept the decision. Regardless of how old your children are, or whether they suspect that a separation is on the cards, it will probably come as an enormous shock and raise a number of emotions.
As family lawyers, we’ve helped many divorcing couples to navigate the process of separation, including offering advice and support on broaching the subject with children. Using our experience, we’ve put together a few helpful tips on how to talk to your children about divorce.
Talk to the Children Together
In order to avoid any further conflict between you and your ex-partner, and to ensure you’re both able to answer any questions that may arise, we always recommend that you tell the children together. Of course, this may not always be possible for a variety of reasons. But if it is, giving the children ‘the same story’ is extremely important, as is avoiding any blame and presenting a united front as parents, despite no longer being partners. In addition, telling your children in the family home is a sensible idea. Not only will they have access to you both when questions inevitably arise, they’ll feel safer and more secure in a familiar environment.
Being honest in your communications with your children is crucial. There’s every chance that they may be unhappy with your decision and ask questions about why you cannot remain together. By taking the time to talk opening and honestly to your children about why the separation is happening, whilst showing that you love them, and offering reassurance that regular contact will continue, these feelings should reduce over time.
Avoid Unrealistic Expectations
Remember though, be honest within the boundaries of what is appropriate to share, and above all, avoid judging or blaming the other parent in front of the children. It’s also important to offer reassurance without making unrealistic promises. This is often a very difficult task for parents as it’s natural to want to reassure your child at any cost but setting false expectations will only cause more pain later on.
Here at Vines Legal, we’re experts in helping our clients through the process of separation and divorce, and we work hard to ensure that the best possible arrangements are made in your child’s best interests. For further help and advice, please contact us on 01246 555610 for a free initial consultation where we can explain all the options available to you.
By Vines Legal on 9 Aug 2021, 10:00 AM