How to Tell Your Children That You're Getting a Divorce


If you're a parent, telling your children that you're filing for a divorce in Pasadena may seem like one of the hardest tasks you've ever faced. However, since the way in which you break the news to your children sets the tone for your post-divorce relationship, it's worth spending some time planning how you'll approach the conversation.

It's important to sit down together to tell your children that you're getting divorced. Most child development experts advise against having one parent break the news for fear that the divorce will be seen as the fault of one person and not a mutual decision. As parents, you and your spouse should strive to present a unified front to the children.

You should also make a point to tell all of the children together. Do not tell the oldest child first, since this places him or her in the uncomfortable position of keeping secrets from the other children.

When talking with the children, remain calm and avoid blaming your spouse for anything that is happening. Reassure the children that they have done nothing wrong and that you still love them unconditionally. Explain that you and your spouse will both continue to be an active part of their lives.

After you've provided a general explanation about what is happening and which parent will be leaving the marital home, let your children ask questions. They may want to know how visits with the parent leaving the home will be handled or if both parents will still be present for major events such as birthdays or holiday celebrations. Answer questions as clearly as you can, but try not to provide any more information that what is necessary in order to avoid creating unnecessary worry.

Don't expect your children to bounce back from news of the divorce immediately. It's normal for a child to be sad, angry, or upset while adjusting to the news. However, if you notice alarming changes in behavior such as trouble sleeping, falling grades at school, loss of interest in hobbies, and/or unhealthy changes in eating patterns, consider speaking to your child's pediatrician to have him or her evaluated for depression.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal representation during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena divorce attorneys can handle issues relating to child custody, child support, and visitation in a way that ensures the interests of both you and your children are protected.