One of the main reasons unhappy couples put off the decision to divorce is that they are worried about the effect their breakup will have on their kids.
However, if your marriage is truly broken, then children are no reason to stay together. Your kids would be much better off seeing your and your wife handling the divorce process like mature adults and cooperating to effectively co-parent than they would be witnessing the two of you bickering because you are stuck in an unhappy relationship.
Telling your children about your plans to divorce may be the toughest conversation you ever have. Even if the divorce is not a major surprise – depending on the age of your kids, they might have seen this coming – it is only natural for children to want their parents to stay together. This announcement is going to result in huge changes to their lives, and that can be difficult for them to accept.
There is no perfect way to break the news of your divorce to your children. Their process of acceptance is likely going to take some time, but there are some steps you can take to alleviate some of the heartbreak.
Tell them together
If at all possible, you and your ex-to-be should sit down with your children together to make the divorce announcement and explain the situation. Even if one of you did not want the divorce, it is for the best if you present a united front.Even if one of you did not want the divorce, it is for the best if you present a unified front. Click To Tweet
This is not the time to point fingers. When parents decide to divorce, it is their responsibility to make their children’s best interest the No. 1 priority.
Plan your message
Although you will want to open the floor to your children at some point for questions, this is not a conversation you want to improvise. Plan with your wife what you want to say and the key messages you want your children to hear.
If they see that their parents still are friendly, even though they are breaking up, it will help them deal with the complex emotions they are bound to experience.
Emphasize that it is not their fault
It is a natural reaction for children of divorce to blame themselves when their parents decide to divorce. Take great care to let them know that is not the case and that your split has nothing to do with them. Tell them that you and their mom plan to work together to be the best parents possible for them (and follow through with that).
They need to come out of this conversation believing that, even though their parents are divorcing, they have a father and mother who are going to continue loving them and doing everything they can to help them grow and prosper.
Obviously, informing your children about your divorce is a lot more complicated if your wife is especially difficult. If that is the case, you might not have as much control over how the conversation goes. Some dads even make the mistake of moving out of the house before the divorce, which can result in their wife cutting off access to the kids.
If that is the situation you find yourself in, it is of upmost importance to get in touch with a divorce attorney who focuses on fathers’ rights or else you could risk getting cut out of your children’s lives due to an unfavorable child custody order. By retaining a men’s divorce lawyer, you will ensure you have someone in your corner who understands the unique challenges dads face during divorce.