Telling Children about your Divorce!

It can be tough just telling your friends and family that your marriage is over, but how do you tell your children that you are getting a divorce?

Unfortunately, we all can’t just hit the skip button on our life-remotes so we don’t have to deal with the uncomfortable or hard moments in our lives. Telling your kids about your divorce is one of those hard moments you just have to get through. Although you can make it a lot easier for you and your kids. Here’s how:

The age of your children

How, when and what to tell your children will depend on their age and emotional level.  For children who are young, it’s best to keep it simple. Young children don’t need to know the details of your divorce. If you don’t know what to say you might like to say something like Mum and dad are going to live in different homes and you will be able to see both if us and mum and dad love you very much and will make this as easy as possible for you.

Older children are more concerned with what will happen to them on a day to day basis. Be prepared and willing to answer questions, about where they will live, what school they will go to, who will have the family dog and why you have decided to separate.

You don’t need to go into any details and in particular you don’t need to tell your children about the problems you and their  parent have had in your relationship. When speaking to your children, remember that they love both of you and don’t want to hear anything bad about their parents, so be very careful what you say to your children at this difficult time.

Your children want to feel safe, protected and to be listened to if they have something to say.

If you and your ex have a parenting schedule agreed and rooms set up for your kids, you can share this with them when telling them. The more you have considered their needs and concerns before you tell them,  the better your children will handle the divorce.

Telling children about your divorce together

It’ always best if you and your ex can tell your children together. It can be difficult, but it shows your kids that they are important to both of you and you both will continue to parent the kids together

If you want to co-parent your children, then this is the first step towards co-parenting.  Telling your children together requires that you and your ex have thought about what you will both say, so that there are no surprises when you are telling your kids. It’s important that you trust each other in how and what you tell your kids about the divorce.

Telling children about your divorce alone

Sometimes, you have no choice or you decide it’s better to tell your kids about your divorce alone. That’s okay, your children will be able to handle this, as long as you are emotionally ready and tell your children in a calm, quiet and controlled way. Make sure you have done your homework and know what to say and not to say if your children have questions.

The information provided is not legal advice. We are happy to assist you if you have any questions about child-custody, parenting plans, consent orders, co-parenting or parenting after separation. Contact us on 02 8999 1800.