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How to talk to kids about divorce

Tolison & Williams | 9 July, 2015 | Family Law

One of the most difficult steps within the divorce process involves telling friends and family about the decision to end one's marriage. For parents, having this discussion with their children is among the most dreaded tasks imaginable. Many Colorado parents worry that their kids will not handle the news well, and that they will have a very negative reaction to the concept that their family is going to undergo a transformation. When preparing to talk about divorce with shared children, it is important to agree upon a course of action.

Parents must first and foremost be completely on board with moving forward with the divorce. Putting children through this discussion while there is any chance of reconciliation is simply unacceptable. Once kids have been told that their parents are divorced, the efforts of the entire family should be focused on moving forward, and not on the chance that matters might change. Parents must present a united front when it comes to this aspect of the discussion, so as to remove any trace of ambiguity from the matter.

It is also important for parents to work through the details of the family's new living arrangements before broaching the subject with kids. Children will want to know where they will live and with whom, and may also have a range of specific questions regarding where they will go to school, if they can keep the same set of friends, and other details. Being able to answer these questions can give kids a much-needed sense of security, and help them accept the changes ahead.

In many ways, having the initial discussion concerning divorce is the first step in developing a co-parenting relationship. This will be the first of many times that Colorado parents will have to stand united for the benefit of shared children. Making this first experience as collaborative and positive as possible can go a long way toward paving the way toward the future, for all involved.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How Do You Tell Your Children That You Are Getting a Divorce?", Jim Halfens, June 26, 2015