5 strategies for telling children about divorce

There are several strategies divorcing parents should use when they tell their children about their plans to end their marriage.

After deciding to end their marriage, many parents in Virginia worry about how their children will take the news about their impending divorce. While the divorce process is never easy on children, there are strategies parents should use to ensure letting their children know about the split is as seamless as possible.

1. Consider the time and setting for breaking the news

Parents should set a time without interruptions for telling their children about their upcoming divorce. Keep in mind that the setting and circumstances surrounding this conversation can impact how children will remember the moment for the rest of their lives. Avoid scheduling the conversation on a special day, such as a child's birthday, or at times when other non-family members will be around.

2. Inform everyone at the same time

Parents who have children of multiple ages may be tempted to tell each of their children about the divorce at different times. However, parents should exhibit a united front and let their children know about their plans to divorce at the same time.

3. Allow children to feel emotions

Many parents assume since they know their children very well, they will know how their children will react to the news. However, parents should not go into the conversation without any assumptions about how their children will react. Additionally, parents should validate their children's feelings, even if they do not make sense.

4. Outline a general script

Instead of improvising, parents should carefully outline what they will say to their children when informing them of their upcoming split. Regardless of how they break the news, parents should stress that the divorce is not the children's fault, that they still love their children very much and that they will continue to be a family even though things will be different.

5. Spend time answering questions

After telling their children about an impending divorce, parents should expect them to have questions about the news. Parents should be open to answering these questions honestly and remember that it will take time for their children to process this information. For this reason, parents getting a divorce should be prepared to have more conversations moving forward about this change.

Contact an attorney

Following this important conversation, parents in Virginia may wish to proceed with ending their marriage without putting too much strain on their children. In this situation, divorcing couples should reach out to an attorney in their area who can help them with this process.