Every divorcing parent faces the dilemma of how to tell the children about the decision. There is no easy way to do this, but there are all ways to makes hearing the news easier for the children. What to day: The single most important element is the truth. That doesn’t necessarily mean disclosing everything – if for no other reason than you will have to limit how much you say to accommodate the limited attention span of your children in the few minutes you’ve got to let them know. Why are you separating? Are you definitely getting a divorce, legally separating, or temporarily living apart? If it’s either of the latter two, it’s reassuring to the children to be told how you intend to work it out, and how long you think it might take before you can be more definitive about what will happen to the marriage. What is the immediate impact on their lives? Will they stay in the same house? Which parent will live with them? When, how and here will they see their parent who is moving out? How will they stay in contact? How do you say it? It usually works best if parents do this together. Usually the parent who is leaving the house takes the lead. Nobody ever feels they do a perfect job. The children may interrupt; your spouse may interrupt. You may not end up saying what you planning, but do not lie. If you are tempted to concoct the story on the fly, if you veer off the truth in an effort to make yourself look better in their eyes, children will see through it for the elaborate scam it is. Be succinct, simple, and clear, but be honest about your emotions because they affect how you say the words. Avoid the blanket reassurances about the future. Give them unbelievable reason for what happened in the relationship, or why you personally made this decision. Stick to the truth and don’t embroider in order to look like the good guy.
Telling the kids about your decision may be the most important performance in your life. Take the time to think about it and make the necessary preparations to answer their questions about living arrangements, continuing contact and when they’re going to next see you and how often thereafter they’ll spend time with you, the parent who no loner will live with them. Ideally, both parents should tell the kids together. Tell the truth and nothing but the truth. That doesn’t mean that everything has to be disclosed, but don’t make statements that have to be retracted later on. Give them a reason for the divorce that makes sense to a kid. Statements like, “We want to stop fighting and we haven’t be able to do that despite all our efforts,” is much better than, “We can’t get along anymore.” Extramarital affairs shouldn’t be hidden. Nor should they be the focus when telling the children of the decision to separate. Expect the process to take two days, and even then it wont be over. Stay flexible, keeping both parents available, letting the kids talk with whom they want rather than settle. Let the child visit where the departing parent will be living. Choose new bed linen, comforters, bring a few clothes or toys over, or at the very least, see where it is. If you are the parent who is leaving, just don’t disappear. Fix a date for the next time you’ll get together and make sure everyone has all the specifics: E-mail, addressed, phone numbers, and fax number.
If you wish to file for a divorce, contact the experienced Boca Raton divorce attorneys at Orner Law, LLC. We understand that it is a serious decision that will affect your family. We are here to help you through the process.