If you’re planning to get a divorce in Virginia, having a conversation about it with your children is likely one of the most challenging things you’ll have to do. Depending on your child’s age and level of understanding, you may have to answer a number of questions about how your lives will change.
Plan for the talk
If possible, both you and your soon-to-be-ex should tell your children that you’re getting a divorce together. When your children hear the news from both of you, you can assure them that you’re still going to work together to make them a priority. You should plan to have the conversation on a weekend since you’ll likely have more time to answer questions and console your children. Avoid telling your children this news during a holiday or on a school night; they may associate the holiday with the bad news or have a hard time concentrating at school.
You may feel tempted to tell your children the “truth” about your divorce, which may involve letting them know about your ex’s wrongdoing. However, this could make your children feel that they are caught in the middle and have to choose sides. Instead, you can let your children know that both you and your ex wanted to stop having disagreements. You may also want to avoid talking about the details of the divorce in front of your children. Counselors, mediators, and trusted family and friends can serve as support systems if you need to vent.
The discussion surrounding divorce could come up several times with your children. This may be necessary to help your children adjust to a new way of life.