How Do You Communicate About Divorce to Children?

Father having serious conversation while holding son's hands.

Divorce is never an easy task, but it can become more emotionally complex when you have children. How do you break the news to them in a way that is honest and sensitive? There is no easy answer or fix, but there are ways to make the process less traumatic for your kids.

Eiges & Orgel, PLLC is here to discuss some tips for discussing divorce with your children.

Discuss Things With Your Spouse

The first step is to sit down with your spouse and decide how you will break the news to your children. It is essential that you are on the same page and that you agree on what you will say. Once you have a plan, sit down with your kids and explain the situation to them in an age-appropriate way.

Timing and Place are Important

Remember the best time and place to break the news to your children. You want to choose a time when they are not busy and where they feel comfortable. For example, it is not the best decision to tell them before heading to school. After talking to them, give them time to process the information. They may want to talk to you later, or they may not say anything. Either way, be patient and understanding.

Have Something Prepared

Have something prepared for both you and your spouse to say. This will help you both ensure that you do not miss any vital information or say something you do not mean. It is essential to be as straightforward as possible when discussing divorce with your kids, as they will likely have many questions. Furthermore, you should consider the ages of your children and explain the divorce in terms they understand.

Reassure Your Children

It is also important to reassure your children that they are not responsible for the divorce. It is not uncommon for children to assume that they have played a role in the end of their parent’s marriage. Make it clear that you still love them and that this decision does not reflect on them in any way. Communicate that they can come to you with any questions or concerns they may have at any time.

Prepare For Reactions

It would help if you also prepared for your children's reactions. They may be upset, confused, or even angry. It is important to give them time to process their emotions and express how they are feeling. Acknowledge that it is okay to feel however they do and that you are there for them no matter what. Encourage them to seek healthy outlets for any emotions they may experience.

Involve Them In Future Plans

Children may feel a lack of control during this time as their lives are changing. However, you and your spouse can inform them of future plans or potential custody arrangements if they are able to understand. This will demonstrate to your children that you are still working together as parents and will support them regardless of your marital status.

Provide Additional Support

Finally, provide some support for your children during this difficult time. Spend extra time with them, listen to their concerns, and be there for them. Divorce can be a very isolating experience, so it is crucial to ensure your kids know they are not alone. If they are having difficulties and need additional support, ensure to seek out professional help, such as therapists or counselors.

Seeking Out Legal Assistance in NYC

If you need assistance with custody or communicating about divorce, Eiges & Orgel, PLLC can provide you with the necessary resources and support. Our team understands how complicated this process can be, and we are here to help you every step of the way.


If you need assistance with child custody or divorce, give us a call at (347) 848-1850 for a consultation.

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