How to Talk to Your Children about Divorce

Divorce is a time of transition, and transition brings stress. While dealing with the stress of the unknown, your mind is flooded with questions. How do I find the best family law attorney in Foley, AL? How do I handle the close friendships that I share with my spouse? And above all, how do I talk to my kids about the divorce?

If you are facing a divorce in Alabama and you are looking for a reputable attorney to represent you and advocate forcefully for your best interests, Coumanis & York is here to help. Call our office today at 251-260-3927 to set up a consultation with a member of our legal team.

Speaking with Your Children About Your Divorce

One of the best ways to deal with divorcing when you have children is to gather as much information as possible about how best to help them handle it. Here are some of the most important guidelines to follow when talking to your kids during a divorce. Each one can be adapted to your unique parenting style and family.

Listen More Than You Talk

Children deal with the stress in different ways. They may react differently than you expect. In order to ensure that you address their true feelings and concerns, hear them out. Ask open ended questions and let them know you are listening. During a time like this, children want to know that they are being listened to, and that their feelings and concerns are being validated. You might not like some of the things they have to say – but let them say them anyway. Just being allowed to vent frustrations about a situation can go a long way toward accepting the circumstances and adjusting to them.

Make Sure They Know that These Difficult Times Aren’t Permanent

Focus on the temporary nature of the stress and problems you are facing now. This approach will help your kids develop a perspective of strength and perseverance. You may not know what the future looks like exactly, but you can help them focus on the constants. Both of their parents will continue to love them. Some routines will not change. You will still be a family.

Your children may not be able to take as much of a long-term view of the situation as you can, so do not expect them to understand everything you are saying right now. Assure them that they will be able to understand things much better as time goes on, and let them know that, although there will be difficulties for a while, most families come out of stressful times much stronger than they were before.

Don’t Keep Them in the Dark

Overall, the more information your kids have about the things that impact them during this time, the better. The more clarity you can provide, the more secure they will feel. Do keep them outside of the conflict, but don’t keep them in the dark. Of course, much of what you decide to share will depend on the ages of your children when you break the news to them about the divorce. For example, there are some details that you would share with older kids but would be hesitant to share with kids who are younger.

Tell your kids why the divorce is happening but do so without blaming the other parent. Better yet, break the news to your children together with the other parent if that is possible in your situation. Tell them what will change and what will stay the same, reassure them that the divorce is not their fault, and invite their questions.

Give Your Children Time to Adjust to the News

It is important to understand that because every child is unique, each one will have a different reaction to the news that their parents are getting a divorce. For some, the initial reaction will be anger, for others, it will be sadness, or they may show very little emotion at all. Some will fire off several questions right away, while others will stay mostly silent as they try to absorb what you are telling them. This is a major change in their lives, and you need to give them the time they need to adjust to it. Be very patient and understanding with them and try not to get too frustrated if they are not moving on as quickly as you would like them to.

Turn to Coumanis & York for Legal Help with Your Alabama Divorce

Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. And this is especially true when you have children that are dealing with the effects of it as well. During times like these, you need attorney you can count on to effectively handle all of the legal aspects of your divorce.

The team at Coumanis & York is ready to go to work for you, and we will work hard to protect your legal rights and secure the most desirable outcome (based on your unique needs and concerns). To get started, message us online or call our office today at 251-260-3927 to schedule your initial consultation.

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