Law Office of Lily L. Huang
More Than A Decade Of Family Law Experience

How to break news of divorce to children

Hopefully, the divorce process will go by quickly for a couple. One woman from California had to wait nearly 50 years to get child support payments from her husband. 

For most couples divorcing, the process will only last for a few months. However, there is much to do during that time. One of the most vital things to do before pursuing a divorce is to inform any children of the separation right away. The best way to do this depends on the age of the kids. 

Preschool

Young infants will not have any comprehension of complex events, such as divorce. However, by preschool, most kids can understand when something happens to their parents. When explaining divorce to a preschooler, it is important to keep the details simple. There will be a lot of questions, and it is paramount to ensure the child understands this is not his or her fault. During this time, you want to ground the toddler in a routine so he or she is less likely to lash out. 

Ages 6 to 11

Children in this range have a better understanding of events. They may have even heard of their friends' parents' divorce. You should ask about your child's feelings. Chances are, by this time, your child will be able to articulate what he or she thinks about the separation. Children in this age range may only see things in black and white and assign blame for the divorce. It is critical to say this was both parents' decision.

Ages 12 to 14

By this time, kids may become more reclusive. They want to hang out in their bedroom rather than the living room with mom and dad. Both parents should keep the lines of communication open. A child may not be ready to talk right away, but you need to make it clear you are there if there is anything your child wants to discuss eventually. 

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