Explaining Divorce to the Children

How do we tell our children we're divorcing?

In most cases, it's best that you and your spouse tell your children together, if possible. It is important to let them know it is an adult decision that you both believe will make your independent lives better.

Many children have misperceptions about having to choose a parent, not being able to see the non-primary parent, or even having to go to court. So it is important that you both educate your children together about what to expect in the upcoming months and reassure them that you will always be a family, although you will not always be living together.

Listen to you children's concerns. Encourage your children to talk so you can address possible misperceptions.

Let your children know that you support their relationship with the other parent. Tell your children that it's okay to love and miss the other parent and that having these feelings is natural.

Most importantly, tell your child she or he will not have to choose one parent over the other. It's important to reassure your children that they still have two parents who love them, that they will eventually have two homes, and that they will be living some with Dad and some with Mom.

Remember that your children will look to how you and your spouse are coping with the upcoming changes. Your confidence and your reassurance about the new changes in the family will instill confidence in your children.