It’s no surprise that parents dread telling their kids about an upcoming divorce. Children believe that their parents should be together and it can be devastating sharing the news. Parents need to keep in mind that this conversation stays with children for the rest of their lives. It’s important to talk to them the correct way, here are a few guidelines to consider.

  1. Think about where you will tell them. Before breaking the news to your children, you need to plan out where and when you will tell them. The worst you can do is tell them that you are getting divorced and then drop them off at school or leave for work. You’ll need to account for plenty of time to answer their questions. You might sit down with them after dinner to inform them of the situation.
  2. Plan what you will say. Sit down with your soon-to-be ex and plan what you will say. Understand you should not place the blame on each other, fight in front of the children, or pressure the kids to pick a side. Don’t tell them that you are getting a divorce if you’re still unsure about it. That will only scare them, so be sure that it’s real.
  3. Tell the entire family at once. It’s important to tell the family at one time. You should not inform your oldest child about the divorce before telling your younger kids. This will make them feel responsible for keeping the secret. After telling them at once, perhaps follow up with them individually to ask if they have any personal questions.
  4. Consider what your children will think. Upon hearing of their parents’ divorce, most children will blame themselves. Take that worry out of their heads immediately by explicitly stating that the divorce is not their fault. Let them know what the plan is post-divorce and that you will always be there for them.
  5. Keep a routine. During a huge change, such as your divorce, you need to keep a routine. Keep your children enrolled at the same school, set up play-dates with their friends, and drive them to the same extracurricular activities. Children need to know that besides their parents’ divorce everything else is the same.

Arons & Solomon is dedicated to New Jersey matrimonial and family law. We emphasize personal attention to each client’s unique situation and needs. Our lawyers have extensive experience ranging from child custody and parenting time disputes to division of assets and support. Contact us today for a free consultation.