You thought telling your spouse that you wanted a divorce was tough, but now you have to tell your kids that your family will be splitting up.
Where do you even start?
Usually, the best way to approach the situation is for you and your spouse to handle the job together. It also helps if you both have a good idea of what kinds of questions you can expect from the kids -- and what kinds of fears children often have when their parents split.
Here are some of the most common questions children ask when they find out their parents are getting divorced:
- "Why?" The best answer, of course, is one that focuses on the essential truth of the situation without getting into blame or details. A good answer is something like, "We just aren't very happy together."
- "Where will everybody live?" Don't make promises you can't keep. For example, don't promise the kids they can stay in the family home unless you're sure that's going to happen. Let the kids know that they'll have two homes, now, instead of just one.
- "How can I fix this?" Be clear. Make sure that your children understand that they've done nothing to cause your divorce. The issues are strictly between the adults. Consequently, there's nothing they can do that will make you and your spouse get back together.
- "When is this happening?" It's fair to say, "We don't know, exactly." Just the same, you should promise to keep the kids informed as you go -- and mean it.
Once you get through this step, you may find that handling the rest of your divorce is comparatively easy -- especially with the right legal assistance.