Often, divorcing couples who also have children find the divorce process somewhat more complicated than it might be for those without children. Not only do divorcing parents have to go through all the details that are typically necessary to end a marriage, but they also must negotiate details around child custody and support. Sometime before or during the divorce process, parents also have to tell their kids about this major change in the family, and many people find this conversation one of the most difficult steps in divorcing. Tennessee couples facing this task can benefit from the following tips.
Discuss details before the talk
Most importantly, if at all possible, parents should break the news as a family and while being civil toward each other. Arguing in front of the children will make a challenging situation worse. In advance of the talk, it is a good idea for parents to plan what they will say and work out all important details, such as future living arrangements and anything else that will change for the kids. Most children will have questions about the new family arrangement, and they should be encouraged to ask them; ironing out details beforehand will help parents answer questions accurately and avoid confusion.
Allow kids to process the news
During the talk, parents can help their kids understand why the divorce is happening by stressing the importance of happiness. For example, they can explain that sometimes people stop being happy together, and this new arrangement will make things happier for everyone involved. After the talk, a parent may notice that his or her child is quieter than usual and may worry, but it is important to know a child may simply need time to process this big news and to give the child all the time needed to come to terms with the news. Parents are also wise to reassure children that they are not the cause of the divorce and that they are still loved.
Divorcing parents may worry about the impact of the divorce on their children, but they can take steps to help the process run more smoothly, beginning with breaking the news in the best way possible. Tennessee couples considering divorce often turn to an experienced family law attorney. He or she can offer valuable guidance throughout the entire divorce process, including the challenging aspects involving children.