Divorce is often a painful experience, even when both spouses agree that it is appropriate. Spouses should be concerned about what information to offer children about why the divorce is occurring. Much of the information couples decide to share depends on the age of the children at the time of divorce and the information parents share will likely change over time.
Children do not need to know all the details regarding why the divorce is happening. Even other family members may not need to know all the details of the divorce. Having one confidant or a therapist may help divorcing spouses receive the support they need without relying on family and children for support regarding the specific details.
Age of Children and Divorce
Keeping the discussion general for younger children is the best approach. Talking about how it is difficult for parents and children to live in conflict may be a good starting point. When children are older and ask specific questions, adults should answer them specifically. Infidelity is a sensitive issue and when you feel children are old enough to understand the complexities of relationships, it may be helpful to admit infidelity if it occurred. If the infidelity occurred on part of the other spouse, it may be helpful to discuss how to approach it with the children ahead of the questions. A discussion with children to not share private details of the divorce on social media is important in today’s high-tech environment. Older children may want to discuss the divorce with friends and parents should help guide how children should talk with friends about it.
Coordinating with the Other Spouse
If you can, it is advisable to get on the same page as your spouse about the story you will tell about your divorce. When you agree on this, children feel more secure. Agreeing not to disparage the other parent with children can be immensely helpful unless domestic violence was a reason for the breakup and there must be discussions about safety. Some couples even agree to have a non-disparage clause in their divorce agreement. This can include posting on social media about the divorce or the ex-spouse.
Reasons versus Symptoms
A good guide to remember about discussing the divorce with children, and maybe even with certain adults, is to focus on the reasons of the divorce and not the symptoms. Telling your children that you are always ready to talk and that it is normal to feel sad during and after a divorce will help keep communication open and honest.
South Jersey Divorce Lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC Help Clients Throughout the Divorce Process
If you are contemplating a divorce, contact a South Jersey divorce lawyer at the Burnham Law Group, LLC to get expert opinions about the next best steps. Located in Marlton and Somers Point, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-751-5505.