There are many factors that need to be considered regarding how and when to speak with your children about an impending divorce. Of course every situation is different and may require the parents to tailor their breaking of the news to their specific situation, but overall there are several things all parents should keep in mind. Some of these suggestions are as follows:
1) Make sure the kids know that it is not their fault. From the moment you tell them the news you need to let your children know that the divorce is a result of problems between their mother and father. You need to reassure them that they did nothing wrong and that there is nothing he or she could have done differently that would have kept their parents together.
2) Keep the children out of the dispute. Don’t use the children against the other parent to try to get something from them. The issue is between you and your spouse, it does not have anything to do with your kids so don’t involve them and do not use them to try to gain some sort of advantage during the litigation process.
3) Don’t fight in front of the children. As much as possible avoid arguing in front of your kids. It is important that you remain calm when your children are around. You don’t want your children to see the fighting because it could negatively impact them in the long run.
4) Take into consideration the timing of the news. How and when you tell a child about a divorce is a decision that the parents need to make together. It may be a good idea to wait until the process has officially started to let them know so you know for certain that you will be getting divorced. You may also want to take under consideration appropriate points in time to give them the news. For example, the summer, while the children are out of school and can spend ample time with both parents, may be a good time to tell them what is going to occur.
The divorce process is difficult, but it is not one you have to face alone. Seeking advice from a Pennsylvania family law attorney is an important step in helping you get through your divorce as smoothly as possible. The Allegheny County divorce attorneys at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates want to help you. Contact us today to set up an appointment.