Divorce: What Do We Tell the Children?

In an astonishing study, 75 % of the study participants reported spending 10 minutes or less telling their children about divorce and the changes that will occur as a result of the divorce. Obviously, this does not reflect an adequate amount of time discussing enormous life changes as a family. Parents are naturally averse to discussing divorce with their children, after having spent weeks, months, or even years discussing the divorce among themselves. However, without providing children with sufficient information and a solid foundation, they often end up feeling lost and alone as the divorce progresses – sometimes for years to come.

At Eric C. Cheshire, P.A., we know there is no “one size fits all” divorce or parenting plan. Let us protect your rights and interests, and those of your children, as you navigate through the divorce process. As you plan to tell your children about the divorce, keep these suggestions in mind.

Tell the Children Together

You and your spouse probably still have a few matters to work out. Even in the best divorce situation, there can be hurt feelings and unresolved issues.  Nonetheless, if at all possible, tell the children together. This sends the message that, while you may be living apart and pursuing separate lives going forward, you will always be united as parents to your children. This act sets the tone for the years to come. You will always both be their parents.

Avoid Blame – Even if There is Blame to be Shared

When telling your friends, your mother, your therapist, you are welcome to blame yourself, your spouse, the weather, and anyone or anything else for the divorce. When you are telling your children, however, avoid blame at all costs. With more than half of all marriages ending in divorce, a simple, “We both decided a divorce is a right decision for our family,” without elaboration about affairs, emotional unavailability, different values, et cetera, should suffice. Later, much later, your children may make their own decisions about the integrity of each parent. Right now, they only need to know their parents are divorcing, and it is no one’s fault.

Reinforce the Message, “We Will Always Love You”

These days, families come in all shapes and sizes. Make sure, as you tell your children about the divorce together, with a supported, united front, the children know without questions they will always have two parents who love them and want them to succeed. If possible, continue family discussions with both parents present.

If You Are Considering Divorce and Have Children

If you have children and are considering divorce, there are several decisions you must make as the divorce moves forward. Contact Eric C. Cheshire, P.A. to discuss your unique situation. As an experienced family law attorney, Eric C. Cheshire has helped to divorce couples create successful parenting plans and time-sharing schedules that work best for any number of different family situations. Contact Eric to discuss a practical and workable solution that is in the best interest of yourself and your children. Call (561) 677-8090 today.

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