Sharing kids complicates most divorce proceedings. Both parents worry about the effect their divorce will have on their children. Will they accept and cope with the divorce well, or will they resist and act out their negative emotions?
When kids are very young, you cannot be 100% certain about how they will react to news of a family split. The best you and your co-parent can do is offer age-appropriate information, answer their questions and reassure them of your love. Still, the following tips can encourage your kids to deal with your divorce in as healthy a manner as possible.
Get on the same page
You and your spouse should decide in advance how to inform your children of your divorce plans. That way, no surprise revelations will come to light during your talk with the kids. As we have said before, it is best to break the news together.
Get rid of distractions
Have everyone put away their cellphones and other devices before the discussion begins. It will help ensure that everyone involved in the family meeting focuses only on the discussion. You don’t need a TV program or text message disrupting the conversation.
Get their reactions
Encourage your kids to tell you how they feel after you tell them about your impending divorce. Let them know it’s okay to ask questions about their post-divorce lives (living arrangements, parental visitation, etc.). However, make sure you have answers to their questions in advance.
Finally (and as always), assure them that you both remain devoted to their care and upbringing, and let them know that the divorce is not their fault.
After breaking the news to your children, a good next step is to learn more about the many components of a California divorce. Obtaining legal guidance is also a wise move.