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Talking to Your Children About Your Divorce

Divorce is hard on you and your divorcing spouse, but it may be even more difficult for your children to process and to move beyond. Children have a difficult time separating themselves from the locus of events, which means they tend to see themselves as being responsible in one way or another for life’s twists and turns, which makes having a carefully considered plan in place regarding how to talk to your kids about divorce paramount. Working closely with an experienced Virginia divorce attorney from the outset can help make the entire journey forward less stressful for everyone involved. 

Stick Together

An article in Psychology Today addresses how to talk to your kids thoughtfully about your impending divorce, and one of the most important points it makes is how important it is to maintain a united front with your children’s other parent on the matter. Sure, you and he or she may not be getting along great (or at all) at the moment, but this doesn’t mean that your mutual commitment to your children’s ongoing well-being has weakened. Putting aside your differences in the context of telling your kids about your divorce helps to send the message that you are still a family who will continue to support one another moving forward. 

Don’t Take a One-on-One Approach

Yes, your children are different ages, and you speak to them in different ways – according to the age, level of maturity, and even the personality of each – but divorce affects all of you, and your children can take comfort in being told about it as a family unit. This helps to bolster your message that you remain a family, which means one for all and all for one. You can fill in the blanks with each of your children according to their ability to process the information, but to begin, telling all your kids about your divorce at once might be the best approach. 

Address the Matter of Change

Children are practical, and yours will want to know how this immense transition is going to affect their lives on a daily basis. Keeping their lives on as even a keel as possible is obviously the goal, and you should let them know what you’re doing to help ensure their lives will change as little as possible. Keep the following in mind:

  • Your commitment to supporting their ongoing relationships with extended family members
  • Your commitment to keeping them in the same school system, in the same neighborhood, and/or in the same family home (to the extent possible in your unique situation)
  • Your commitment to addressing your children’s emotional health and well-being throughout the divorce process (and beyond)

An Experienced Virginia Divorce Attorney Is on Your Side

The compassionate Virginia divorce attorneys at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, recognize how difficult the matter of your children’s feelings are in relation to your impending divorce, and we have a wealth of experience helping clients like you find the best path forward in their unique circumstances. We’re here for you, too, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.