A divorce can be an extremely stressful time in one’s life. If you decide to get a divorce you may wish to hire an attorney, and you must also announce the divorce to your loved ones, friends, and family. Breaking the news about an impending divorce to your children can be a jarring experience, but necessary nonetheless. Talking to your child about divorce could potentially have an impact on your child’s emotional development. Experiences such as divorce can be forever imprinted in a person’s mind, and because of this it is necessary to carefully consider when, how, and in what manner that you should break the news.
Tips for Breaking the News
It is a good idea for you and your spouse to break the news to your children together. Doing so illustrates that there are no hard feelings between you two, even if the reality is something different. It is not necessary to go into the specific details of why you and your spouse are divorcing. Instead, assure your children that you will do everything in your power to prevent the divorce from interrupting their daily lives. Children flourish and are more successful when they have a stable family and living situation. Divorce will surely create a lack of stability, but there are things you can do to lessen the blow. Thus, it is a good idea to already have future living situations in place so that your children can have some idea of what to expect in the upcoming months.
Don’t Expect a Specific Reaction
Before announcing your divorce, you should make sure to focus on making your children feel comfortable and secure. Instead of creating expectations of how your children will react to the news, you should assume that the announcement will receive mixed reactions. Your children need to feel comfortable with expressing their emotions and your expectations may serve to hamper this. Thus, it is a better decision to expect mixed reactions. However, be prepared to answer any of their questions that they may have about the divorce. They may want to know whether they will be forced to switch schools, and wonder where and when you and your spouse will be living apart from one another. Consider these questions before breaking the news so that you come off as confident and in control of the situation. An air of confidence will help your children feel stable and secure in your decision to divorce their parent.
Don’t Involve Your Children in the Fight
The main mistake that parents make during a divorce is getting their children involved in their squabbling. Doing so can cause significant stress for a child, who will feel that their whole life is about to change and they are being forced to choose sides. Some best practices for keeping your child out of the fight include:
- Don’t use your children as a messenger to communicate with your spouse;
- Don’t discuss or argue about child support and other divorce-related issues in front of your children;
- Don’t badmouth your spouse while with your children;
- Don’t use your children as a means to hurt your spouse; and
- Don’t grill your children for information about your spouse’s activities.
If you need the assistance of a divorce attorney, we can help. Contact the family law attorneys here at our law firm in Fairfield County, Connecticut for issues concerning divorce or any other aspect of family law.