Divorce and separation is a difficult time for any member of the family, including your children. Your divorce will mean a major change for you and your spouse in terms of your relationship, where you live, your financial situation, and your future. The very same can be said for your children. While going through the process, you and your family will naturally feel some growing pains and discomfort as everyone adjusts to the “new normal” and you may wonder how much you should tell your children about your divorce.
When making this decision, make sure you keep your children’s ages in mind. A kindergartener will need and want a different types of information than that you would give to a teenager. For example, while a kindergartener will likely not be able to grasp the financial issues in the divorce, it may be appropriate to make sure your seventeen-year-old is comforted that his or her college fund is going to remain in tact.
Regardless of the age of your child, he or she needs reassurance that although the divorce will result in substantial changes, some things will not change. Children thrive on structure and normality, so providing kids with an understanding that there will still be a regular pattern to their lives. For younger children, this may include providing them the chance to help color and decorate a calendar that shows when they will be with which parent. For older children, it may mean programming the calendar into their smart phones.
There is also particular information that is not appropriate to share with your children regardless of their age. Divorce can often bring with it resentment and anger between you and your spouse. It is never appropriate to share the emotional reasons behind a divorce when that reason involves any sort of blame from one parent to another. This would include, for example, telling your children that your marriage has failed because the other parent has found a new boyfriend or that the other parent is a bad spouse. Telling your children that the marriage failed because the two of you can no longer get along or have changed may be appropriate, but is best addressed together and in coordination with your spouse.
Child custody can be difficult for you and your children.Contact us today to talk about your case and what we can do to help you.