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Talking to Children About Divorce - How Much is Enough?

 Posted on October 20, 2022 in Family Law

Waukesha divorce lawyerNo one said parenting would be easy, but no one said it would be this hard either. You never thought that you would be sitting your kids down to tell them that you and their other parent are getting a divorce. It is a tough conversation to have, but it is important to remember that you do not have to share all the details with your children. They just need to know enough to understand what is going on. Here are some tips on how to have this difficult but necessary conversation.

Tips for Controlling the Conversation

The conversation with your kids about your divorce is going to be tough—there is no question about it. It is important to understand, however, that children are often aware that there are big problems even if you have not talked about your concerns in front of them.

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, the best thing you can do is schedule a time that you both can sit down with your children and talk to them directly. When you do so, keep the following in mind:

  • Do not give them all the details – Your children do not need (or want) to know everything about why you are getting divorced. Just give them the basic gist of it, and do not weigh them down with adult problems.

  • Be age-appropriate – Tailor your explanation to your child’s age and maturity level. A toddler will need a different explanation than a teenager. If you have children of different ages, you might need to have a separate conversation with the older kids after the initial discussion.

  • Keep it short and sweet – This is not going to be a conversation you want to drag out. Sit down, say what needs to be said, and then answer any questions they may have. Be available to your children to address their needs, but do not just keep talking for the sake of saying more.  

  • Reassure them – Be sure to let your children know that things are changing, but they will still be taken care of and loved unconditionally. It is also important to make it clear that your divorce is not your children’s fault. You may need to remind your children more than a few times, but do not waiver on this, or your children could end up blaming themselves.  

Divorce is hard enough on everyone involved, so make sure you take care of yourself too. Seek out support from family and friends, or consider talking to a therapist who can help you deal with the emotions you are currently experiencing. And, most importantly, do not forget that your kids are going through this too—so give them the time and space they need to adjust in their own way and at their own pace.

Contact a Waukesha County Family Law Attorney

If you are considering a divorce and have questions about how to make the process easier on your children, contact a Waukesha divorce lawyer at Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP. Call 262-232-6699 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team today. 


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