How to Tell Your Child About Divorce and Custody

Divorce is a difficult thing for families to deal with. It can be especially troublesome for children to understand why circumstances must change. One of the most difficult conversations you may have in your life will be explaining the reasons for divorce to your family. To reduce some of the stress and negativity surrounding this conversation, we have prepared a few guidelines for you to follow. This time in your life, as well as the lives of your children won’t be easy, but with help it can be less of a burden for all parties to bear going forward.

Have a Plan on How to Approach the Divorce Subject

No one who gets married and starts a family plans to ever get divorce, but unfortunately it can happen. Once you are honest with yourself and your former spouse about what you want to go forward, you can start to plan about how to inform your children. This is not something you should ever go into without having prepared what you want to say, so take some time to write out exactly how you want to break the news. You should also consider running what you have to say by a trusted friend or counselor who can provide you with meaningful support and advice.

Prepare Yourself Emotionally

This will be a painful time for you and your family, so it is important to manage your own emotional stress before you share the painful news with your children. Self-care is essential to this process, meaning you should make sure you are still eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep. You should also pick a time when you are feeling like your best possible self to break the news of the divorce. Quiet times during the weekend, preferably not on a school night or before leaving for work, are likely the best times to have this talk. Without any other stress, you be able to focus entirely on the conversation and on providing comfort to your children.

Be Present and Supportive

For this discussion, it is vital that both parents are present and prepared to offer all support, no matter who will have child custody, if that has already been decided. You should be prepared to deal with any guilty feelings your children may have by ensuring them it is not their fault. You will likely want to repeat this to them and reassure them by making the conversation simple for them to understand. This is not the time to get into details about why the divorce is happening. For the most part, over-explaining the situation will do more harm than good. What is important now is to make sure your children know they are loved unconditionally and supported by both parents, no matter what.

Dealing with the emotions tied to divorce will be challenging for all parties involved, but most of all for your children. That is why adhering to advice like this is important to making sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. With that in mind, you should be prepared to give your children time to adjust, as the real difficulty will be helping your children adjust to the reality of the divorce. For more information and advice, be sure to book a complimentary initial consultation with Vancouver’s family and divorce lawyers at Ganapathi Law Group today.