Tips to Talking to Kids About Divorce
Sharing news of a divorce with children can be difficult. While talking through the issues of a divorce with friends and family members can be uncomfortable, news of a divorce impacts the day-to-day life of children. Children respond in a variety of ways, depending on the situation. They may withdraw emotionally or they may have loud arguments with parents. Remember that the guiding principal in any divorce involving custody should be the best interests of the children.
Preparing for the discussion can help. If you have questions about timelines to share with kids, a Bucks County family attorney can help.
Things to Keep In Mind When Preparing to Talk
When possible, the news of divorce should come when the family is gathered as a group, all of the kids and both parents together, even when a person is not getting along with their spouse. The reason is it is a way to show kids both parents are dedicated to parenting.
Communication should be simple and blame should be avoided. Kids do not need to hear any information about infidelity issues or financial concerns. Instead, be straightforward and let the kids know their health and well-being is the main priority of both parents.
Some people find it helpful to write a script before having a conversation about divorce, which can be helpful, but you should also be ready to answer questions. Questions could vary depending on how old children are at the time of the talk. For example, young children might not fully understand what divorce means while a teenager might have questions about schools and living arrangements.
Some of the questions kids may ask include the following:
- Where will I live?
- Will I have to change schools?
- How often will I see the parent who is moving out?
Establishing a Plan
Of course, there can be a lot of emotions involved. It is beneficial to the kids when parents are calm. Children may become upset but calm parents can soothe kids and the focus should be on their needs. Let kids know they are loved, no matter what.
If there is a plan in place both parents are comfortable with, they can share it with the kids. The plan might include who is moving out and when they will be moving, for example. If the parent moving out has already found another residence, they can share where it is and let the child know when they can come and see it. If details are not in place, try to avoid promising anything that might not become a reality.
A Bucks County family attorney can walk you through what to expect. Some of the information will be appropriate to share with kids, other items will need to be reviewed and settled before it is appropriate to share with younger members of a family.
Contact a Divorce Attorney Today
Are you moving forward with a divorce and have questions about custody and child support payments? Turn to the experienced divorce attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Our attorneys can help establish the best path forward for you and your children. Schedule your free consultation today, call (215) 968-6602.