How to Break the News About Your Divorce to Your Kids

Divorced couple & child

After you’ve decided to get a divorce, one of the most difficult things you’ll have to do is break the news to your children. With forward planning and care, there are ways to make this conversation slightly easier on your kids. Below, you’ll find some ideas on how to explain your upcoming divorce to your children.

1. Make a plan, and write it down

Telling your children about a divorce is an emotionally challenging conversation. Without a written outline of what you want to say, you may find it difficult to make your thoughts clear. You might even end up divulging more about your dissolving relationship with your spouse than you need to. By writing this outline with your spouse, you can get on the same page about how you both want to frame the split, setting a tone for the process of divorce that will follow over subsequent months. Even if your spouse does not want to write this with you, send them a draft of what you plan to say all the same.

2. Prepare your answers for difficult questions

Young children will have some very basic questions about how their lives will look after a divorce: Where will they live, and with whom? Will they have to go to a new school? Where will they celebrate the holidays? Why are you and your spouse breaking up? Discussing these questions beforehand with your spouse will help you formulate good answers and not develop an answer on the spot that might not be accurate. This isn’t the time to point blame at your spouse or make critical decisions about custody or holiday visitation.

3. Find the right time

Find a time to speak to your children when they will have several hours to process the news that their parents are separating, and not when they will soon have to rush to school or another social event. While a holiday break from school might seem like an obvious choice, it isn’t ideal to make a permanent association for your child between that holiday and the end of their parents’ marriage.

For compassionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated assistance with a New Jersey divorce, contact the Englewood family law attorneys at Herbert & Weiss at (201) 500-2151, with additional offices in Englewood.