Explaining Your Divorce to the Children

Once you and your spouse decide to divorce, one of the first things you need to do is explain what is going on to your children. Make every effort to protect the feelings of the children. You should strive to make the situation as stress-free as possible. Each family is unique, but some general guidelines can be helpful.

The conversation with your children should not be spontaneous. Find a time that fits into the children’s schedule. If possible, you and your spouse should both be present when the conversation takes place. You should try to bring the children together to break the news. You should keep calm and composed during the conversation.

You and your spouse should discuss what you plan to tell the children. You should present a united front. You should not bicker with your spouse. Make it clear to the children that you and your spouse love them and plan to help them make a smooth transition.

Limit what you tell your children to the basics. If a spouse will no longer be living in the marital home, explain when the children will be able to contact or visit with the absent spouse. Your divorce may become contentious, but you do not want the children to become pawns in the battle.

Try to keep your children in the loop as the divorce process proceeds. Explain the custody and visitation arrangement you and your spouse agree to. Let the children ask questions. Make it clear to the children that your main concern is their best interests.

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