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Discussing Divorce With School Aged Children

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorney parents childrenTelling your spouse that you want a divorce is one thing, but telling your children that mom and dad are separating is another. While parents may worry that their divorce will negatively affect their children, it can ultimately be the best thing for everyone involved. Rather than experiencing regular conflict and tension between parents, children can benefit by growing up in a less stressful environment. When breaking the news of divorce, parents will want to approach the conversation in a way that helps children understand and prepare for how their lives will change.

Talking to Younger Children

The approach to telling your child that you and your spouse are getting a divorce is going to differ depending on the age of your children. A younger child may have a harder time understanding what a divorce means, but they will have an easier time adjusting to the change. If dealing with children with a wide age gap, you may wish to discuss the divorce separately. 

There is no definitive guide for telling your child about the divorce. Every family is different, and every child will have a different level of emotional intelligence. Here are some tips to help you talk about getting a divorce with your school aged children:

  • Work together - When talking to your child about divorce, it is helpful for both parents to speak to him or her together. This will give your child a sense that neither parent will be leaving their life. It also avoids one sided conversations and puts the divorce in a neutral territory for your child to understand.
  • Keep it quiet - A divorce is a long process, and your child does not need to be in the know until everything is finalized. Depending on the divorce, the process can take a couple months to a couple years. That is a long time for a child to be left in limbo, not knowing when mom or dad will move away. Do not talk about legal issues around the child or keep paperwork in plain sight.
  • Simplicity is key - Once you are ready to tell your child about the divorce, remember that they might not be old enough to fully understand what is happening. Speak to them in simple terms about how your divorce will affect them. Emphasize that although one parent may be moving out of the house, they will still be a part of the child’s life, and both parents will always love them and be there for them.  

Get in Touch With a Winfield Family Law Attorney

With experienced legal representation, you can confidently help your young child understand how their life will change after your divorce while making sure you are protecting your parental rights and your child’s best interests. Contact an experienced Warrenville family law attorney at The Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC. Set up a free consultation by calling our office at 630-836-8540.


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