Depending on how old your child is, the questions you are going to have to answer after you tell them that you and your spouse are getting divorced could range from, “Okay, but can I have a cookie?” to “Can I decide who I want to live with?”. As a result, telling your child this news isn’t going to just involve preparing for how you’re going to phrase it, it is going to involve preparing for how you’re going to respond to their reactions.
Especially if your child is older and their questions are likely to be more detail-oriented and technical, it can help to seek legal guidance concerning what to expect from the divorce process before you speak with your child. That way, you can have some answers to their inevitable questions ready and a resource to turn to when they have questions about the process that you can’t yet answer.
Focusing on what is most important
By carefully considering your child’s age, personality, their most likely concerns and your own communication style, you can better ensure that the process of telling your child that you and your spouse are divorcing sets the stage for the next phase of your life as a family in the healthiest possible ways.
There is nothing easy about the situation you’re facing. Thankfully, the love you have for your child is going to give you a way to focus your energy on building a future where you can both thrive. Telling your child that you are getting a divorce can be a daunting process. But as long as you think through your approach and focus on making them feel safe, loved, cared for and seen, you’re going to do right by them.