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How do I tell my children about divorce?

If you are going through a divorce, or thinking about filing for divorce, then you may find yourself stressing about your finances and the legal battles that may lie ahead. However, if you have children, then what you might worry about most is telling your children about the divorce and helping them get through the process as best as possible. This can be complicated, especially if a dispute with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is heated and child custody is a sticking point.

There are two factors to consider when children are involved in the divorce process. First of all, you should be sure to keep all confrontations away from your kids. Discussing legal matters and fighting with your spouse can make it even more difficult for your children to accept the divorce.

Second, try to keep your children's routines as close to normal as possible and try to ensure that both parents remain actively involved in the children's lives. Doing this will help comfort the children and let them know that, even though their parents are divorcing, they can still be a kid and have the love of both parents.

Breaking the news of a divorce to a child can be heartbreaking. However, it is important to do so as soon as you know that divorce is the next step. Both parents should sit down and be honest with the child, giving them enough information to let them know that you and the other parent will be separating, that you both love the child and describing what will and will not change in their daily lives.

You do not need to and probably should avoid getting into all the details. Instead, try to give them a general picture with comfort and reassurance that their parents will always love them no matter what. Additionally, attempt to find a silver lining in the situation, which could help the child better handle this difficult situation.

Even after having that discussion, though, you still probably have a lot of family law issues to deal with. You should think about taking with a legal professional, as an attorney experienced in these matters may be able to help you throughout the process, perhaps making it easier and fairer to your interests.

Source: KidsHealth, "Helping Your Child Through a Divorce," accessed on Sep. 26, 2015

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