Divorce is never easy. Dealing with financial concerns, mental and emotional stress, and fear about the future, seems overwhelming at times. In a divorce with children, parents often don’t know what to say to their kids.
As experienced family law attorneys, we have counseled scores of divorce clients over many years. Along the way, we learned what our clients wish their children understood about divorce. Consider using these suggestions to help you have an open discussion with your children about divorce.
Always Remember — Your Children’s Best Interests Come First
While it may be difficult to process everything you are going through during your divorce, with children involved you also must appreciate the situation from their perspective. These talking points can be shared with your children when the time is right.
1. This is not your fault. It’s really not anyone’s fault. Sometimes parents who loved one another grow apart over time. We always hope for the storybook ending of living “happily ever after,” but in reality, relationships can come to a natural end because people grow and change over the years.
2. Both of us still love you. Even though we don’t want to be married any longer, we always want to be your parents and our love for you will not change after the marriage ends.
3. You can rely on me. You may not be living with me full-time afterward, but I am always here for you, any time of day, and every day of the year. I am only a call/text/chat away.
4. Things change over time. Each year of your life will bring many changes. You will graduate from school and maybe college. You will make new friends and travel to new places. You will choose a career and may change your mind several times. Change can be exciting, but also scary. We will be there for you during those changes.
5. Change can be hard. Sometimes change will be forced on you when you don’t want to change. Change is inevitable and you can’t always control it. What you can control is how you react to change. If you focus on the positive ways change can affect your life, you will be happier.
6. We are both still your parents. You won’t live with both of us every day, but we are both committed to helping you through every day. Together we will make decisions to make your life better.
7. I know you have feelings, even when you won’t talk to me. Sometimes you might not feel like talking. Other times you might feel like a flood of emotions is bursting out. I’ll be here to listen whenever you are ready.
8. Parents aren’t perfect. We try our best to raise you and provide for you. But we are human and we make mistakes. We hope our mistakes don’t affect you, but sometimes they do. We will do our best to be the greatest parents for you after the divorce.
9. Families come in many different forms. A family doesn’t have to be two parents and kids. Many families have only one parent or are split between two houses. Some kids are raised by their grandparents and others live with foster parents. A family just means people who care for and support each other no matter what.
10. We are still a family. Your mom will always be your mom and your dad will always be your dad. The family may grow in the future as you get married and have children of your own. Our family may get larger, but it will never be smaller since we will always be your family.
We have only scratched the surface of topics you may need to address with your children during your divorce. At Evans Kingsbury, LLP we strive to keep your kids’ best interests in mind as we advocate for you, but it’s up to you to protect them. As your family law attorneys, it’s our goal to protect you throughout your legal proceedings.
Let us use our vast family law experience to guide you through your family issues. Call us today at (707) 596-6090 or fill out our easy contact form to discuss your divorce.