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Talking to children about divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2020 | Family law

Parents in Delaware who are going through a separation may be unsure of how to talk to their kids about divorce. The answer to that question depends in part on the age of the children. While it is always good to be honest with kids, parents can be slightly more detailed when speaking to teenagers. In no event, however, should parents say negative things about each other or blame the other spouse for the divorce.

To the extent possible, it is best if parents can get on the same page about their parenting decisions and present a united front to their children. This will let kids know that they cannot play one parent off the other, which is something that is unhealthy for everyone. Parents should also reassure their kids regularly that they still love them and that they are not to blame for the separation. Younger children in particular may be likely to internalize negative feelings between parents.

It is good to encourage children to share their feelings about the divorce and how it is impacting them. Parents should always strive for open communications with their kids, and they should not blame their kids if they are more emotionally needy after a separation. That said, there are certain details that should be left out of discussions with children, such as how the legal proceedings are going or details about a child custody dispute.

If children are old enough, it is good to hear them out and see what their preference is when it comes to child custody. They may prefer to stay with one parent during the week if that parent is closer to their school, for instance. When ironing out the details of a child custody schedule, it is best to have a family law attorney on hand for assistance.