Estate & Family Law Blog

How to talk to children about divorce


For parents, there’s more at stake when a marriage ends than just their own emotional and financial needs. Children are just as affected by divorce as their parents, perhaps more so. It is impossible to keep children completely shielded from what’s going on with their parents, but there are some effective techniques British Columbia parents can use to talk to their kids about what’s happening, and what is yet to come.

When two spouses are certain a divorce is going to happen, that is the time to let the children know what’s going on. It is best to avoid speaking about divorce as a speculative subject, or one risks confusing and/or frightening the kids for nothing. When it’s time for the conversation, it is best for both parents to be there to tell the children.

It is very important to speak to children at their level. Using adult terms and discussing adult feelings with young children may be confusing, or it may cause them to misunderstand the situation. On the other hand, older children may benefit from a more mature level of conversation.

Don’t feel it is necessary to reveal every detail of the situation, because some things really aren’t for children’s ears. Do try to answer their questions as best as possible, however. Above all, ensure the children know they are not responsible for what is going on.

A divorce can be hard on everyone in the family. Striving to help the kids cope can make the process easier on the kids, and may help the adults as well. A British Columbia family law firm can help any man or woman make the best of an unfortunate situation and help him or her, and the family, start a new life from the best possible starting point.

Source:, “Tips for helping your child cope with divorce“, Laura Kelley, June 1, 2017

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