One of the hardest things about getting divorced is letting your children know their mom and dad are splitting up. This is a difficult and painful conversation for many parents, and they may put it off as long as possible.
Your children will have to learn about your divorce sooner or later. Many parents prepare their children for the changes that will come after divorce once the divorce process has started. While talking about divorce to your children won’t be easy, it is an important step.
With the following tips, you can learn how to approach the topic of divorce with your children. Here’s what you should know:
1. Consider your children’s ages before you start talking.
The first thing you should consider is how old your children are. The age of your children may determine how you talk about divorce and what they will need to know.
For example, a toddler who’s just learning to speak will not understand divorce. Your toddler may struggle through the changes of your divorce, but they’ll grow to roll with the changes — unlike, for instance, a teenager. A teenager will likely have a strong understanding of divorce and need to know more about what will change. The news may greatly upset them, and you may need to give your children more time to accept the changes.
2. Set a time to talk as a family.
One way you can approach talking about divorce with your children is by setting aside a special time when you and your spouse can talk. Consider setting a time around breakfast, lunch or dinner when the entire family is around. Talking with your children before school or bed may put them in an uncomfortable position.
3. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
There may be a lot of uncertainties in your life right now, but don’t try to make up for them with promises you can’t keep. Be honest with the kids if you aren’t sure where you will live or what school they will attend. Keep them informed of what you learn as you go.
Understand the divorce process.
The divorce process in New York can vary, depending on your legal goals. Speaking with a divorce attorney can help you understand the road ahead and prepare you to answer questions your child or children might have.
Every divorce is different. By understanding your legal rights and knowing your custody rights, you may be able to talk to your children with confidence about the future. At Poppe & Associates our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation by calling 646-665-3903 or through our online form.
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Mia Poppe, Esq.