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5 Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Divorce

 Posted on May 16,2024 in Divorce

You and your spouse have decided to get divorced. Your first step is to call an Illinois divorce attorney to schedule a consultation. After that, it is time to break the news to your friends and family — that includes the kids.

Talking to children about divorce is a daunting task and should be handled delicately. Research shows that children are more affected by their parents’ divorce than their parents. But even though your divorce will never be a happy thought to your kids, the way you break the news to them can set the tone for how they will process it.

While there are many parenting tips, here are five pointers for talking to your kids about divorce.

Do it Together

You and your spouse should break the news together. One reason for this is that the children will see a united front and know that this decision is coming from both of you, even if it is not. It can be comforting to a child to know that both parents feel this is the best path forward. Another reason is that while you are telling the kids that life will change, sitting beside your spouse shows some stability.

Tell Them You Will Both Be There

Along the same lines, let the children know that even though you and your spouse are splitting up, you will both love them and be there for them just as much as before. It can comfort them to know that their relationship with their parents will not be affected by this major change.

Talk About the Next Steps

Explain to your kids what happens next. Tell them about the divorce process and, most importantly, what life will look like for them after divorce. They will need time to process that their parents will no longer be living together. They will need to understand things like physical custody, visitation, parenting time schedules, and the like. These may be foreign concepts to them, so be prepared to explain them as simply and as many times as needed.

Stability is Key

Remember that your children’s lives are about to change drastically and they know it, even if they do not yet know how. The best thing to do is to keep emphasizing what will stay the same. For example, you can remind them that:

  • School is still school.

  • They can still go out with friends.

  • They still have a curfew.

  • Homework still needs to be done — just that sometimes it will be done at mom’s house and sometimes at dad’s.

It Is Not Their Fault

This is a standard part of the divorce talk, but it bears repeating: firmly tell the children that the divorce is not their fault. Kids will often find a way to blame themselves for the divorce and think that it had something to do with them. Repeat as many times as necessary that it does not.

Contact a Kendall County, IL Divorce Attorney

Good attorneys help clients with the divorce process. Great attorneys help clients deal with the divorce process. Choose a Yorkville, Illinois divorce lawyer with a compassionate approach who can guide you through issues like talking to your kids about divorce.

I am Matthew Williams, a divorce attorney with over 15 years of experience. I will not only help you navigate divorce but will connect you with the right resources to help you and your family deal with divorce. Call the The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 today.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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