Divorce is never an easy decision to make, but it can be made even more difficult when children are involved. No parent wants to face the task of telling their innocent children that their parents are separating. How do you break that kind of news? How can you possibly prepare your children so that they are harmed as little as possible by your divorce?
Masella Law Firm, P.C. is here to help you with this difficult issue. Our Columbia divorce attorney has helped numerous parents through the divorce process and is dedicated to protecting the rights – and the innocence – of children whose parents are divorcing one another.
How to Tell Your Child You're Getting a Divorce
- Prepare a Script – Write down exactly what you are going to say to your child, as well as answers to any questions you think they might ask. The more prepared you are in advance, the better. Be sure to tailor what you say to each child's age and level of comprehension. Use simple explanations for younger children.
- Have Both Parents Present – If possible, you and the other parent should break the news to your child at the same time. The most important thing right now is to make sure your child understands that both parents still love and support them no matter what.
- Emphasize that Your Child Is Not at Fault – Many kids feel that their parents' divorce is their fault, even when they're told it's not. Be sure to clearly explain to your children that the divorce has nothing to do with them. It's simply because mom and dad have changed the way they love each other and cannot agree on important things, which is why they cannot live together anymore.
- Encourage Questions – Tell your kids that you are both there for them. Ask them if they have any questions and give the best answers you can. Also, make it clear to your children that they can always talk to you about the divorce. Open communication is very important.
- Provide Support – Let your kids work through the news in their own way, but make sure to provide the love and support that they need from both of their parents during this time.
What Not to Say or Do Around Your Children During a Divorce
- Do Not Fight Around Your Kids – Keep all arguments, fights, or other tense conversations away from your children. If you're getting upset, move to a room where your children absolutely cannot hear you, or else try to save the conversation for later. Your kids are innocent and should be protected from the emotional stress of watching their parents disagree.
- Do Not Talk Badly About the Other Parent – Your child loves both their mother and their father. This is healthy and should not be discouraged. If you do not have something nice to say about the other parent, then don't say anything at all. Saying bad or mean things about the other parent in front of your child will make him or her feel as though they need to "choose a side."
- Do Not Use Your Child to Relay Messages – Children are often used as messengers between parents who do not want to talk to the other person themselves. This places a lot of stress on the child because they may be afraid of how the other parent will react to the message. It also continues to place pressure on the child to choose a side. If you have something to say to the other parent, then talk to him or her yourself.
Need the Help of a Columbia Divorce Attorney? Call Our Firm!
Contact us today if you need compassionate, experienced legal counsel for a divorce. Since 1998, we have been helping families work through all kinds of divorce and
family law matters. Call (803) 938-4952 to discuss your case with a lawyer who will put your and your children's best interests first.