The process of getting a divorce is extremely difficult, but perhaps the hardest part is breaking the news to your child. Depending on their age, they may be unable to process the news the same way a reasonable adult would. The manner in which you tell them can significantly impact how they take the news.
If you have more than one child, avoid telling the older child separately from the younger sibling. It’s best if you tell both children at the same time. You want to avoid swearing one child to secrecy – keeping this type of secret is too big of a burden for any child to bear.
You can explain the details of your divorce without being overly critical of your ex-spouse. Even if the marriage is ending on bad terms, you don’t want to place any blame on your ex-spouse and make your child feel as though he or she needs to side with one parent over the other.
After breaking the news, your child may not be ready to discuss everything at that moment. Understanding something as complex as divorce takes time to process, and your child may need a few days to come to terms with the news. You and your ex-spouse should let your child have that time, and make yourselves available for when your child is ready to further discuss the divorce.
If you can’t promise that everything will stay the same, then don’t promise it. There will be a number of changes in your life and your child’s life. You can be truthful and let your child know that things will be different, but you are still a family.
As a Denver divorce attorney with more than 30 years of experience in handling a number of family law matters, I am focused on helping you navigate through the complexities of your divorce. Call my firm today at 720-386-5511 or request your free consultation online to learn how I can help.