Most people dread having a divorce conversation with their children. But approaching the discussion from a strategic angle can make it more manageable. One of the aspects to be strategic about is when to bring up the issue.
When should you tell your kids you are getting a divorce?
Sooner rather than later
It’s vital to wait until you are sure you want a divorce and have adequate information about some issues, such as the parenting plan, to talk to your kids. But children can be sensitive to the energy of the people around them. They can tell if their parents are not on the same page. Thus, consider telling them about the divorce sooner – before they start asking questions. Doing this will allow you to have control over the conversation.
Further, if you or your spouse will move out, talk to your kids before doing so. It can be confusing for them to see one of you leaving the family home without knowing what’s happening.
But if you and your spouse will stay together for a particular period, you may not need to have the divorce conversation with your kids until later; when the separation nears or when the parenting plan is about to take effect.
When they are relaxed
Your children will have questions once you inform them you are getting a divorce. Thus, it’s fair to initiate the conversation when they are relaxed; they should be able to focus on what you are saying. Holding the conversation just before bedtime, before leaving for school or after a long day may lead to an unsuccessful interaction.
Divorce involving children can be complicated. Get legal help to protect your kids’ interests and your parental rights.