As you prepare to inform your children of your impending divorce, expect questions — most of which will be difficult to answer. How you respond to these queries may, in part, determine how well your children handle your divorce. A few top questions are highlighted below:
This is the simplest and yet most difficult question to answer about your divorce. Your answer will differ based on the ages of your children and the extent to which they have been aware of ongoing issues in your marriage. Specifics are rarely necessary or advisable, but you’ll also want to avoid sounding patronizing.
Is it my fault?
This could be the most heartbreaking question your children ask as they struggle to conceptualize your divorce. Kids tend to blame themselves, no matter how often you tell them that it’s not their fault. Still, this reminder bears repeating, so make it crystal clear that your children are not to blame.
Where will I live? What about the rest of the family?
Living situations can be a top concern for the children of divorce particularly if they suspect that either you or your ex will move far away. In the midst of so much upheaval, many kids dread the thought of leaving their school or their friends. If both you and your ex intend to remain in the same region, reassure your children early on. Otherwise, explain that you will try to arrive at a solution that benefits the family as a whole.
No matter what your child asks, it’s important to be both honest and tactful. When in doubt, seek assistance from a counselor, therapist, or some other expert capable of guiding you through this emotional process.
The law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. can serve as a valuable resource as you deal with the difficulties of divorce. Reach out today to learn more about your options for custody and visitation.