Ending your marriage will affect every member of your family, and as a parent, you know how important it is to do everything possible to protect the kids’ interests during this difficult time. New Jersey parents will need to be understanding and provide their kids with support as they adjust to new circumstances and navigate their own complex feelings about the divorce. It is important to keep their well-being in mind at every step, even before you’ve told them about your divorce.
One of the most important conversations you will have about your divorce and during the entire divorce process will be the initial conversation you have with your kids during which you will tell them what is happening. It is important to be thoughtful and considerate as you explain what is happening and what they can expect in the weeks and months ahead. Preparation and planning can help you set aside your own temporary emotions in order to protect the best interests of your kids.
Preparing for a difficult conversation
Despite any feelings you have about each other, you and the other parent will likely want to take steps to shield your kids from any unnecessary duress during this time. As you consider how to break the news to your kids and help them process everything that is happening, the following may be helpful:
- Plan on having the conversation together and presenting a united front to the kids.
- Be respectful of each other and show your kids that you will each remain an integral part of their lives.
- Explain what is happening in a way that is appropriate for the ages and maturity levels of your kids.
- Tell the kids exactly what to expect in terms of where each of you will live, their daily schedule and other important aspects of their daily lives.
- Assure the children that the divorce is not their fault in any way.
If you are preparing to divorce, it will be important to think about how you will tell your kids about this major life event. Your consideration of their needs and emotional health during this time of transition can help them adjust well and handle changes better. After this conversation, you can continue your pursuit of stability and security for your kids by providing them with a custody and visitation order that is fair and beneficial.