Florida Family Law
How to Talk to Your Kids About Divorce
Many unhappy couples try to keep their relationship together for the sake of their children. However, staying in an unhappy marriage may actually cause more harm because it may inevitably result in an unhealthy household for parents and their children. There is research to support the idea that children may benefit more from residing in two separate but happy households rather than living together in one unhappy household. While
divorce may be the healthiest option
, it is nonetheless devastating for children to learn of their parents’ separation. Although you should avoid discussing your actual divorce proceedings with your children, here are a few tips for addressing the general concept with them.
Strategies for Discussing Divorce with Children
A straightforward approach is best when breaking news of divorce to a child. Keep the conversation on track by following these guidelines:
Be clear and to the point.
Leave out any details that could be harmful to your children. With a gentle approach, and a positive tone, calmly let them know what is happening, what it means, and how it will affect them. Be honest and transparent about each step of the process. If they are young, explain what divorce means, that they will now have two loving homes, and that ultimately everyone will be much happier.
Ensure your children know they are not the cause of the divorce. Let them know they are loved and important to both of you, and that this decision will never change that.
Listen to your children.
Successful communication goes both ways. Be receptive to your children’s emotions. Pay attention to how they react and try to answer all of their questions.
Be respectful toward your spouse.
Avoid placing any blame on your partner. Pointing fingers or badmouthing the other parent will only cause your children to feel tense, confused, and distraught.
To keep your children from spiraling into an emotional panic, try to ensure that the divorce affects their everyday lives as little as possible. One way to accomplish this is by providing consistency in their daily schedules as if you and your spouse are still together.
Make your children feel emotionally safe and secure by making yourself available if and when they need to talk. You may also be required to provide financial support to your child and/or spouse leading up to and after the divorce.
Get Legal Assistance
If you are considering divorce, hiring a professional divorce attorney can help to ease the process while you work to maintain a sense of normalcy for your children. The divorce lawyers at The Roberts Family Law Firm will not only represent your best interests but will also be sensitive to your family’s situation. Call us today at 407-426-6999 to speak with one of our experienced lawyers and learn more about our services.