One of the hardest parts of getting divorced if you have children is telling your kids that their parents will no longer be together. This can cause a great deal of stress on the entire family, and it’s never an easy conversation to have.
During this challenging time, it’s important to approach the subject carefully and make sure you are doing everything you can to protect the mental and emotional health of your children.
First, consider consulting a therapist or counselor to learn more about the best ways to start the conversation. It’s usually best if you and your former spouse can do this together, creating an action plan for how you are going to discuss the matter with your kids. Once you have a plan, be sure to choose a location where your children can feel completely comfortable and designate ample time for them to ask questions.
As you are speaking with your children about your divorce, try to focus on the positive — such as the fact that they still have two parents who love them and want to spend time with them. Do not blame the other parent, and try to position the divorce as a joint decision the two of you made together. Just remember that the thought of a divorce can be very emotional for kids, but you owe it to them to be upfront and honest.
Once you have given your children the news, be sure to allow them the opportunity to ask questions. This shouldn’t be limited to the time directly after you’ve told them about the divorce — be sure to let them know that you would be happy to talk more in the hours, days and weeks to come. Keep in mind, however, that the parents should never share the legalities of the process with the children. Courts acknowledge it can be hard to keep them completely unaware of the legal discussions and decisions being made, particularly with older children. However, courts also direct parties to leave adult conversations and decisions to the adults and not involve the children with the legal process and issues.
When it comes to telling your children about an impending divorce, try not to procrastinate. Once you’ve made your decision to dissolve your marriage, it’s important to speak with your kids as soon as possible. If you would like further tips and guidance on this sensitive issue, work with a compassionate Minnesota family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.
"Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.
"With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.
"Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.
"I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.
"Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.
"I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.