10 Tips For How To Tell Your Children You Are Getting A Divorce


Divorce is a challenging and emotional time for any family. One of the most difficult aspects of this process is breaking the news to your children. How you communicate this information can impact their emotional well-being and understanding of the situation. So, what are some tips on how to tell your children you are getting a divorce?

Be sure to prepare what you’ll say before talking to your children. Also, consider where you’ll have this conversation and ensure both parents are present. Above all, honesty is vital; reassure your kids that you both love them and will keep looking after them.

Telling your children about your divorce is one of the most essential steps, especially for them. It is vitally important that you handle this conversation with the care it deserves. To help you through this challenging process, we’ll provide you with ten essential tips on how to tell your children you are getting a divorce.


1. Plan What You Are Going To Tell Them

Planning what you want to say before sitting down with your children is crucial. Decide on the key points and messages you want to convey. Remember that this conversation is about reassuring your kids and answering their questions. What you tell your children will depend significantly on their age and maturity levels.

An important aspect to consider when deciding how to tell your children you are getting a divorce is to not bombard them with details on the breakdown of your marriage. Instead, head in with an idea of what you are willing to share and what you think is not child appropriate. Listening to and answering their questions as truthfully as possible is best.

Suppose you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are having difficulty communicating. In that case, it might be a good idea to enlist the help of a mediator who can either guide you on a plan of action or sit with you through this meaningful conversation.


2. Plan A Time And Place To Tell Them

Choose a quiet, comfortable, and familiar setting where your children feel safe. Timing is also crucial. Avoid discussing the divorce during a busy or stressful time, before bed or school, or on a special day or holiday, and ensure you have ample time to talk without interruptions.

Refrain from telling them in public or a public setting such as a restaurant. A restaurant might help prevent a scene, but it will more than probably be far more traumatic for your child and could even have long-lasting adverse effects on them.


3. Talk To Them About The Divorce As A Family

Whenever possible, both parents should be present during this conversation. Presenting a united front will help your children understand that you made this decision together. Also, try to tell all your children together. The last thing you want is for an older child to tell a younger child about the divorce or vice versa before you get the opportunity.


4. Ensure That There Is No Blame In Your Explanation

When discussing the divorce, avoid placing blame on one another. Instead, emphasize that it’s a decision made for the well-being of everyone involved. Ensure you encourage your children to understand that this is an adult issue, not their fault.

Presenting a united front for your children will be challenging. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse cannot do this on your own, it is a good idea to enlist a mediator’s help to ensure that this discussion goes as smoothly as possible for your children.

Invoking the blame game will only make the situation more complicated for them as they might feel like they need to choose sides, which could cause them adverse feelings.


5. Tell Them You Both Still Love Them

One of the most critical aspects of this conversation should include reassuring your children that your love for them remains unchanged. Emphasize that the divorce does not reflect their worth or the result of their behaviour.


6. Plan Answers To Questions About The Future

Children are likely to have many questions about the future. Anticipate their concerns and prepare honest, age-appropriate responses. It’s essential to be open and candid without oversharing.

Before you head into this conversation, ensure you know the answers to questions like where they will live, whether they will stay in their present school, or whether they need to change schools. Try to avoid giving answers to questions that you can’t be sure of, such as whether or not they will still be going on a specific holiday in the future, etc.


7. Be Reassuring

During the conversation, emphasize that many things will remain the same even though things will change. Discuss your commitment to co-parenting and maintaining a stable environment for them.


8. Respect Their Feelings And Reactions

Your children might experience various emotions, from sadness and anger to confusion and fear. Let them express their feelings without judgment. Be patient and empathetic, acknowledging their emotional journey. If they say they need space, allow them the time to come to terms with their changing lives and ensure that you are there for them when they are ready to talk.


9. Invite Questions

Encourage your children to ask questions at any time. Reiterate that you are there to provide support and guidance as they process the changes ahead. Let them know they may ask you questions anytime, and you will answer them as best you can or find answers if unsure.


10. Ensure That You Do Not Lie

Honesty is the best policy. Avoid making promises you can’t keep or giving false hope. It’s vital to maintain trust, even if the truth is complicated.

Telling your children about your impending divorce is never easy, but following these ten tips can help you navigate this challenging conversation with sensitivity and care. Remember that it’s essential to focus on their well-being and to reassure them that your love and support will remain steadfast.

If you are going through a divorce, have legal questions, or need assistance, do not hesitate to contact Burnett Attorneys & Notaries. We are here to support you during this difficult time. Remember, “how to tell your children you are getting a divorce” is an essential conversation, and handling it with compassion and honesty can make a significant difference in your children’s understanding and emotional well-being during this challenging period.