When and How to Tell Your Children You are Getting Divorced?

The timing and location of telling your children you are getting divorced is one of the first considerations when going through a divorce process. The first recommendation is for both parents to tell the children together that they have decided that they will no longer be married, are planning a separation or whatever event will occur. Both parents must actively tell and should never blame the other. The discussion should not be had by only one parent, as it should be shared.

The children should never receive a detailed explanation, but should understand that the parents have a unified front and have made adult decisions that have resulted in this upcoming change. It is also recommended that the children be told all together. In depth conversations with older children can be had at a later time. An important consideration is to make sure that you are telling your child when they have the opportunity to process the information and all the emotions that go along with this information. Even where the conversation is held is important as it should be in a place where the child feels comfortable and is familiar to the child. Remember, your child will have many questions and will, most likely, have their emotions on display when they are told, so they should be someplace private. The child should be told in a place where they can walk away to process the information if they need to, then come back and ask questions. It is likely that this will be the first of many discussions, but since it is the first one it should be done with thoughtfulness and awareness. It should not be long and detailed, but enough of a building block so the child can ask questions and upon which future conversations can be had. It is not surprising if either or both parents get emotional when telling their children and this is reasonable so long as it is restrained. Parents should be prepared for tears from the child. Parents should be ready for a wide range of questions that will be asked, but it is not surprising if some children choose to process it later and do not ask any questions at the first telling. Parents should do their best to answer the questions to the best of their ability. In the end, the parents should be prepared to discuss the divorce over a period of time answering any questions with appropriate information.