Talking to Your Kids about Divorce
There is a lot of advice out there for parents regarding talking to your kids about divorce. As family law attorneys, we've seen cases where parents handle the issues delicately and those where, unfortunately, parents seem to have given little thought to the effect on the kids. If your family is about to be or has been affected by divorce, make it a point to talk to your kids about the situation and dispel myths they may otherwise take with them to adulthood.
Once you've committed to talking to your kids about the divorce, make a plan and follow through. Here are some strategies we recommend for our clients with children:
- Consider the age and maturity level of your children. Talk to them individually on each child's level.
- Think twice before revealing hurtful facts about the other parent. It is natural for children to love both parents and can be hurtful for children to hear negative things about either parent. Also remember that passing negative information to your child about the other parent can be considered bad behavior on your part by a judge in a parental alienation claim.
- Consider enlisting your spouse to talk to your children with you. A united front can eliminate a lot of second-guessing later by your children or by the other parent about the content and tone of your conversation.
- Make sure the kids know your divorce is not their fault. It is practically a cliché to mention it, but kids inevitably arrive at this conclusion if you don't address it.
At the end of the day, remember families and children are all different. As a parent, you know your children better than anyone and can develop a plan to talk to each child in a way that best suits his or her needs. However, if you find you just can't discuss your divorce with your kids, be sure to give them an opportunity to talk to a qualified counselor to make sure there are no lingering issues.
For assistance with a divorce, child custody, or child support matter, call the Peterson Law Group at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014. Our experienced Conroe, Texas divorce attorneys will stand up for your rights and protect your interests. Call today or contact us online to arrange an appointment.