How to Tell Your Children About Your Divorce

Child Sitting at table being chastised by 2 adults

As adults, you may have already worked your way through the decision to separate or divorce. However, for your children, they are only just starting on that journey, and it will come to them as a shock even if they already suspected it may happen. 

Every child is different, and you will need to decide the best way to tell your children based on what you think their frame of mind is. 

When Should You Tell Your Children About Your Divorce?

It depends on the circumstances of when to tell your children about the divorce. Generally, it’s better to tell them sooner rather than later, so they have time to adjust to the situation and have clarity over what is happening. 

Once you have decided to divorce your spouse, this is usually the best time to tell your children as it will give them the maximum time to get used to the idea and ask any questions they have. Telling them while both of you are still in the family home can help ease the transition, rather than telling them once one parent has moved out. 

Should You Tell Your Children the Reason for Divorce?

It is inevitable that your children will ask why this is happening, and you will need to be prepared to give them an answer they can understand. We recommend being honest with your children, however, it doesn’t mean you need to get into the specifics of why the relationship is ending. 

A good option is to give your children a general explanation such as ‘We want to do different things in life’ or ‘We will be happier apart’. 

How to Have the Divorce Conversation With Your Children

The right way to have a conversation with your children about the divorce will depend on your situation. Our expert family law solicitors have put together some guidance on how to tell the children about divorce and separation. 

Tell The Children Together

We strongly recommend telling your children together to avoid any further conflict. It is a good idea to try to think through any questions your children may have, so you are prepared to answer them. 

Tell The Children In Your Home Environment

Being in your family home will feel safer for your children to show their emotions and have access to you both when they are seeking comfort. 

Allow Your Children to Express Their Emotions

Your children will express various emotions, which could include tears, anger, pleading, or promises of good behaviour. Try not to argue or negotiate with them as they need to understand that you know it hurts right now, but you will help them, so it hurts less. Be clear to them that this situation hasn’t happened because of them or anything they have done.

Involve the Children in the Move

If one of you is moving out of the family home, sometimes it helps to involve the children in the move. You could show them where you will be moving to and where their future bedroom will be, to help ease their minds. 

How Do I Make the Right Arrangements for my Children Following the Divorce?

Making the correct child arrangements when you are going through a divorce, can be tricky. You will need to decide where they will live, who they will live with, what contact they will have with each parent and what their schedule will look like. 

Your children’s well-being and best interests should be at the forefront of both your minds and exactly what child arrangements you make will depend on your specific circumstances. 

Contact Our Family Lawyers in Glasgow 

Our family law solicitors are experts within the field and can help you through your divorce and child arrangements and whether a Child Arrangement Order needs to be considered. Contact us today for legal advice, and we can help you every step of the way.


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