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How to Tell the Children You Are Getting Divorced

Posted on in Children and Divorce

When a couple announces to friends and family members that they are getting a divorce, one of the first questions people usually ask is, 'Have you told the children yet?' In the early stages of the process, the answer is typically, 'No,' to which the inquirer will then reply, 'Just tell them.' While it is inevitable that the children are going to find out, the worst thing that you can do is 'just tell them.' If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce in Dallas, there are several things to consider before making the announcement to your children. When you work with the Dallas divorce attorneys at the Clark Law Group, we will discuss those considerations with you and advise you on how and when to tell your children about your impending separation.

Things to Consider Before Telling Your Children About Your Divorce

While divorce is hard on everyone, children are especially vulnerable during the process. Because of this, you should approach the subject with great care and tact. At the Law Offices of Stephen Clark, we suggest keeping the following considerations in mind when deciding when and how to tell your children:

  • Wait Until You are BOTH Ready: Many people - including some mediators and divorce lawyers - will encourage you to tell your children as soon as possible. Their rationale is that the children are going to find out anyway. While this is true, it may do more harm than good to tell your children before the both of you are ready to do so. If your children see that you are both calm and accepting of the divorce, they may be more inclined to accept it, as well. On the other hand, if either you or your spouse is hysterical when you make the announcement, it could scare them and even potentially cause them to unconsciously choose a side.
  • Anticipate and Plan for Their Response: Your children are going to have questions-a lot of them. If possible, approach the conversation with a rehearsed script and answers to any and all anticipated questions. By being able to answer their questions and address their concerns, you may be able to successfully alleviate the majority of their fears.
  • Maintain a United Front: While you and your spouse may not be able to stand being in the same room as one another much less hold a civilized conversation, it is imperative that you put your differences aside when you do decide to tell the kids. Maintaining a united front will show them that though you may not love each other anymore, you are, and will continue to be, their parents.
  • Consider What is Going on in THEIR Lives: The worst thing that you can do is to announce your divorce right before an important test or a big game. Consider what is going on in your children's lives before throwing this curveball at them.
  • Consider Utilizing a Mediator: If you and your spouse simply cannot get along for long enough to tell your children, consider hiring a mediator. A mediator can help the two of you agree on a productive conversation that will maximize your children's need for security and a united front from their parents. Beyond telling your children, a mediator can also help you negotiate a parenting plan that works best for everyone.

Consult a Dallas Divorce Lawyer

If you and your spouse are not sure how or when to tell your children about your impending divorce, reach out the Dallas family lawyers at the Clark Law Group. Our legal experts routinely help divorcing parents plan a productive conversation that is straightforward yet reassuring. If you are interested in speaking with our legal team today regarding your divorce, call Clark Law Group at 469-906-2266, or schedule your consultation online.

(image courtesy of Kevin Gent)

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