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Posted on in Divorce

children, divorce, Geneva divorce attorneyWhether they always make it clear or not, children are remarkably observant. If your marriage is falling apart, your children may even realize that something is wrong before you do. This reality, however, does not make it any easier to tell them that you and their other parent are getting divorced. Choosing when to have the conversation, obviously, is an important consideration, as you do not want to break the news for the first time while one of you is literally walking out the door. There are few things to keep in mind as you figure out the best time to talk to your children.

No Turning Back

Your children rely on you and your spouse for stability. This, of course, is part of what makes many divorcing parents feel like they have failed. Divorce is not an acknowledgment of failure; rather, it can be the doorway to happier and healthier situation for everyone involved. However, it should not be taken lightly. Do not tell your children that you are separating or divorcing unless it is actually going to happen. Children are resilient, but most will not deal well with a “we told you we were getting divorced, but we changed our minds” approach. If you have decided to separate but have not made a decision on divorce yet, tell your children that. Explain that you are not sure what will happen, but that their current reality is changing.

Posted on in Divorce

children, divorce and children, Kane County Family LawyerThe decision to divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances. A couple with children, however, may be faced with an even more challenging situation. In addition to making the necessary arrangements for issues such as custody, visitation, and child support, parents also have an obligation to help their children through the process, while reducing unnecessary stress and confusion. This generally means that parents must be able to talk to their children about the life changes being effected by divorce to help them understand, as best they can based on their maturity level, what a post-divorce life will be like and how their lives may change.

Be Age Appropriate

When discussing divorce with your children, it important to realize that communication is an ongoing process, not just a one-time conversation. This is especially true in younger children who, as they grow and mature, will likely have more questions and seek to understand the situation on a deeper level. The discussion must begin, however, with your understanding of what your child is capable of comprehending. For example, a pre-school aged child would not grasp the concept of you feeling emotionally isolated from your spouse. Instead, simply explaining that Mom and Dad will both be happier may be a better start.

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