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How Do I Talk to My Child About Divorce?

Divorce can have a profound impact on children, even when there is no question that it is the right decision for parents when the marriage has broken down. Seeing their parents go separate ways is a loss of stability and major lifestyle change, and the implications affect children differently based on age. Statistics show a 16% higher likelihood of behavioral issues if the child is 7 to 14 years old when their parents end the marriage.

However, other data indicate that the majority of children adjust to divorce within two years after it is finalized. Plus, child behavior professionals stress that kids can recover remarkably well if parents communicate, treat each other respectfully, and make the interests of the children a priority when making decisions. A positive outcome starts with a smart approach to telling them the news and then relying on your Indiana divorce lawyer to address complex legal issues. Some tips on how to talk to your child about divorce should help guide the conversation.

1. Prepare for the Discussion

It is a mistake to sit down with kids without a plan, so spend some time establishing a framework. Create a list of topics you want to cover, and be sure to anticipate the difficult questions children may ask. You should also schedule the conversation for the right time and place.

2. Start with What Will NOT Change

After making the announcement that you are divorcing, immediately turn to the issues of stability and consistency. There are many aspects of your children’s lives that will not be affected, including:

  • Your love for them;
  • Your ties to other relatives and family;
  • School, friends, and community; and,
  • The basic weekly and monthly routines.

3. Address Concerns About the New Lifestyle

There is no question there will be some changes as children spend time with their parents under two separate roofs. However, you overcome these concerns by pointing out a recent lifestyle change that your kids adjusted to quickly. An example is moving from one grade in school to the next.

4. Keep Conflict Out of the Conversation

You are a team when it comes to parenting, and divorce does not affect your roles. Maintain your united front and prioritize the needs of children, even when there are disputes about other divorce issues like property division and alimony. In addition, realize that children will often want to know the reasons behind the divorce. A simple statement that you have grown apart is sufficient in most cases. Avoid blaming the other party for the divorce or bringing up specific issues of misconduct.

Speak to an Indiana Divorce Attorney for Help With Legal Tasks

It is challenging to break the news to children, but these tips are a helpful way to start the discussion about divorce. To learn more about the process, please contact The López Law Office, P.C., to set up a consultation with Attorney Vanessa López Aguilera. You can reach our team by calling (317) 634-9484 or visiting our website. Hablamos español.

Vanessa López Aguilera

Attorney Vanessa López Aguilera represents clients in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area