Divorce is common. According to data provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), approximately 75,000 married couples file for divorce in the state each year. But that does not make going through a divorce any easier—especially for parents of young children.
While parental separation can be hard for a child, there are proactive strategies that you can use to make the divorce process easier. You do not want to keep them in the dark. In this article, our Illinois family lawyer highlights five tips for telling your children that you have decided to get a divorce.
Be Sure to Plan the Conversation Ahead
You do not want to spring the conversation of divorce on your children at the very last minute. Nor do you want the topic to slip out at a random moment of frustration. The best way to tell your kids about divorce is to take the time to plan ahead so that you know exactly what you want to say.
Keep It Age Appropriate
How you should tell your kid(s) about a divorce depends on many factors, including age, maturity level, and personality. The conversation will be a lot different if your child is 16 rather than 6. Make sure that you keep the conversation age-appropriate.
As most parents are generally already aware, you should never blame your children for a divorce. It is important for kids to know that they are loved, they are cared about, and that they are not the cause of their parent’s marital issues. Further, it is also a best practice to avoid blaming your spouse when telling your children. De-emphasize blame.
Focus on the Future (What Will and Will Not Change)
In many ways, the divorce process is about planning for the future. Some things will change, and other things will remain the same. During a conversation with your child, it is often a good idea to keep a focus on the future—making sure that they understand what will and will not happen.
Let Your Children Express Themselves
Your child could respond to you telling them about divorce in a number of ways. They could be upset, angry, silent, or even understanding. It is important to let your child express themselves and their feelings in a healthy manner. They may have questions for you.
Get Help From an Illinois Divorce Attorney Today
At Arami Law, Inc. our Illinois divorce lawyer provides compassionate, solution-focused legal representation to parents. Contact our legal team today to schedule a consultation. From our downtown Chicago office, we serve communities throughout Northern Illinois, including in Naperville, Joliet, Oak Lawn, Bolingbrook, and Frankfort.