Divorce is difficult. Divorce with kids is even more so. How you tell your kids that you and your spouse are getting divorced will have a lasting impact on both how they accept the news and your future relationship with them, independently and together. Presenting a unified front—even if you and your soon-to-be-ex are pretending to be united—is essential. In addition, there are several other things you can do to ease your child into the news of your separation.
The first is to ensure that all your planning about the future has been laid out. This means speaking with a family law attorney to determine custody and visitation arrangements. You should also have a schedule arranged, so that the child is well aware of what his new daily life will be like. According to Psychology Today, children—especially young children—do not deal well with change or transition. Children rely exclusively on adults to help them understand and make sense of the world around them; a sudden upheaval, such as divorce or separation, can throw their world into chaos.
Having a plan of attack for what will happen next can help to ease some of this emotional trauma. Bear in mind also that if the child is old enough, he will likely remember this moment for the rest of his life. Break the news on a day that does not have other important connotations, like a holiday. Also be sure that you have the time to spend with a child to help him adjust to the news after you tell her. Avoid telling her the day before she goes to summer camp, for example.
Another important thing to keep in mind when you tell your children about your divorce is to avoid playing the blame game. Your child does not need to be in the middle of your arguments—or the reason for your divorce. It is completely acceptable, and even appropriate, to keep some things private.
If you are considering divorce, even before you tell the kids the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney today. Our compassionate team can help with every step the divorce process and will work with you to provide the best possible outcome for your family.