How to Tell Your Children You Are Filing for Divorce


If you're seeking divorce help in Pasadena, you're probably wondering when it's time to tell your children you're filing for divorce. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it's important to be honest with your child. Hiding information from your son or daughter will only make the situation seem more confusing.

If at all possible, both parents should be present for the conversation about filing for divorce. If multiple children are involved, everyone should be told together. Avoid breaking the news on a school day or before an important family event, since your children are likely to be upset and in need of some alone time after they hear the news.

There are several books and DVDs available to help explain the idea of divorce to very young children. For older kids, however, an open and honest conversation is likely to be sufficient. If your child has a friend with divorced parents, he probably already has a basic understanding of what a divorce will mean for your family.

When telling your child that you're getting divorced, remember to stress that the end of your marriage is not his fault. Children tend to think of themselves as the center of the universe and will thus naturally assume that you're getting divorced because they did something wrong. Make sure your child understands that remembering to pick up his toys, not yelling at his baby sister, or going to bed without a fight wouldn't have changed anything about the situation.

Be ready to answer questions from your child, especially those relating to custody arrangements. After learning their parents are going to get a divorce, most children are concerned with where they're going to live and how often they're going to see the non-custodial parent. Older children may also have questions about the possibility of their parents dating and remarrying.

Even if you're very angry at your ex, do not share these feelings with your child. Your child does not need to hear insults and name calling. If your divorce is related to tricky issues such as infidelity or your spouse's drinking problem, these are also details that are best kept to yourself. Communication is good, but it needs to be done with an eye towards what information is age-appropriate to be shared.