How to Tell Kids About Divorce


You and your spouse have decided to divorce, and now you must tell your children about this decision. This marks a major turning point in your divorce, and you worry about how your children will react to and cope with this life change. It’s a fact about divorce that most people wish they could avoid.

Telling your children about the decision to end your marriage may be one of the more difficult parts of the divorce process. However, it is important to let them know as soon as you are sure, as they should not hear the news from anyone else.

Many couples with children get divorced every year, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry states that one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. To help your children through this time, there are several things you should do before, during, and after this conversation.

Plan Out the Divorce Conversation

It is easy to get caught up in emotion when you tell your children that you intend to end your marriage. Before this conversation, sit down with your spouse and write down exactly what you want to tell your children.

Pick a Time to Tell Kids About Divorce Carefully

Your children will likely remember when you told them about your divorce, so choose a time to have this conversation carefully. Bring all your children together at once and pick a time that does not conflict with an important event, like a birthday.

Telling them should not be a spur-of-the-moment conversation. Wait until you can talk uninterrupted and when no one has to be anywhere else.

Tell Kids About Divorce Using a United Front

It is best if both of you tell your children simultaneously. Although you will no longer be a couple, you need your kids to know you are still their parents. You should also tell all your children at once, even if they vary drastically in age. You can have more in-depth conversations with each of them at another time after they have digested the information.

Answer Tough Questions About the Divorce

Your children will want answers and information about your parenting plan, what will happen next, and who they will live with. Provide as much information as you can and avoid blaming your spouse for the end of your marriage. discusses that you should answer your children’s questions and unspoken ones that relate to necessary changes. You should answer the best you can, although you should not give details about why the divorce is happening or blame the other parent.

As your kids begin to process the news, they will probably have emotions and follow-up questions. Allow your children to feel what they feel, and demonstrate that you love them. Perhaps most importantly, ensure they know the divorce is not their fault.

Your children may exhibit a wide variety of emotions when you tell them about your divorce, and many of these you may not expect. Plan on providing extra reassurance and attention to your children in the days following this conversation. A Tampa divorce attorney at Quinn and Lynch can help you navigate this process.

Contact Our Experienced, Dedicated Divorce & Family Law Lawyers Today

As a dedicated family law practice in the Tampa Bay area, we work one on one with our clients, resulting in representation that is characterized by genuine care and understanding. If you are dealing with divorce or other family law issues, please contact at 813-223-7739  to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced family and divorce attorneys.