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Telling your Children about You Getting a Divorce
Children need to talk about what is happening in your life and in theirs when it comes to divorce. Research says that most families talk about this life changing event in only 10 minutes or less. It is your choice to make the time to help your children cope. After all, you are the parents.
Have a plan before you tell them.
In most cases it is best to tell children approximately 2-4 weeks prior to separation.
• Tell them together. It is best to be a team and talk about things without harsh emotions in the way. Talk to them at home where they can be themselves and not worry about outside surroundings.
• Talk with the school so they are aware of what is happening at home.
• When parents talk to the children make sure you cover a few basics:
– This is not your fault. Mom and Dad have been unhappy for a long while.
This is our decision and we both love you and want you in our lives.
– There will be no one blaming or choosing sides. We are still a family.
– It’s OK to feel sad, angry and worried. Don’t hold things inside. Talk about it.
– Try to talk about a “Plan” together. Let the children be heard and listen to them.
Try to be fair and try to understand how hard this is on everyone.
• Be ready for any reactions – children sometimes have tantrums, cry, or say hurtful things. Some children will be somewhat happy. They may have seen this coming for a long time. Try not to pressure them for their feelings. Let them softly absorb the topic and let them ask you questions.
• If parents get upset, or cry, it is OK. This is a sad event for the family.
• Get help if needed. Talk to your family and friends. It may be a good idea to talk with a family counselor and seek professional help.
Try to come up with plan for the future so that you can meet as a family and see each other together now and then. The hardest part of divorce is “Breaking the Family Unit” Together you can all work through this and still be a “Happy” Family.
Hofmann Law Firm, LLC is located in Princeton, NJ and serves clients in and around Mercer County, Middlesex County, Somerset County, Burlington County, Hunterdon County, Ocean County and Monmouth County. Hoffman Law Firm offers FREE Consultations and will help you get the help you need. Call (609) 375-2049 today.