The decision to get a divorce is never easy. When there are children involved, this can make the process even more challenging. The age of your children can also play a large role in how well they handle the news or how much they understand what’s going on. If you’re not sure how to explain divorce to your children, the team here at Petrelli Previtera has compiled some of the most beneficial ways parents have broached this subject with their children.
A Team Approach is Best
Regardless of how well you and your partner communicate, this is the time to sit down with each other and find a way to plan out what you’re going to say to your children. It’s also best to plan to tell your kids together. It’ll be important to let your kids know that — even though you and your partner will no longer be married — you’re, first and foremost, their parents, and you will continue to work together to be the best parents you can be.
Resist Unnecessary Details
Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, it can be tempting to want to point fingers and place blame. You may also consider telling your children that this isn’t your fault and the decision was not mutual. However, the news of divorce is enough to confuse children and make them sad. While you won’t have to be married to your partner forever, your spouse will forever be a parent to your child. It’s best not to paint them in a bad light or disclose any information that is not vital to the situation. As time goes on, you can decide how much or how little you want to share with your kids about what happened.
Allow Your Children to Ask Questions
You should make it clear to your kids that if they don’t understand what’s happening or have any questions, they should ask. Remember to take into consideration the suggestion made above and avoid disclosing certain information. But ultimately, it’s important to be honest with your children — in a way that is age appropriate and hopefully won’t damage the relationship you have with your kids. Depending on their age, you may also talk with them about their rights as a child so they know what to expect during the upcoming change.
Tell Them as Soon as Possible
Ideally, your kids will have the chance to process the news of your divorce before anyone moves out or things change dramatically. If you and your spouse will have separate living arrangements, and if the kids are going to be living in both places, they should have at least two weeks before any of the changes are made. This will give them time to get used to the idea and ask more questions while you’re both there to answer them.
We understand that divorce is not only taxing on the couple, but it can also be just as taxing — if not more so — on the children involved. For a family lawyer in Denver who you can trust to walk through this process with you and your family, turn to the team at Petrelli Previtera.
Contact us today to learn more about our services.