For parents, one of the most difficult aspects of the divorce process is telling their children that mom and dad are no longer going to be living together. Even young children are certainly capable of comprehending complex situations, they may still be understandably reactive and emotional upon hearing the news. It almost goes without saying that talking to a 15 year old young woman will be different than telling a 6 year old little boy carries different challenges. Today, our divorce and family law attorneys will outline some useful tips for parents discussing a divorce with children of all ages and temperaments.
If you are going through a divorce and have any questions regarding child custody, child support, alimony, division of assets, etc, call our office today for a free consultation with a member of our experienced legal team.
Bergen County, NJ Divorce Lawyers Discuss Planning for the Divorce Conversation
Discussing such an emotional and impactful topic with the people you love the most can be incredibly difficult. The best way to mitigate these emotions is often to plan ahead and even discuss a united front with your spouse. While your individual plan should be tailored to you and your family’s individual needs, here are some considerations which may help the process:
Carefully choose the location and time of the talk. This can be for several reasons, the most important of which being that your children will likely remember this moment forever. You may choose a safe, familiar location, which most likely will be within the family home. Avoiding times right before bed, before school, or before leaving is also a great idea as children need the chance to adjust to this new reality.
Gather the whole family. Telling children separately can lead to confusion and division amongst your children. This may also cause a situation where children begin gossiping (for lack of a better term) with one another, trying to understand what was said differently to each child. It is almost always a beneficial idea to speak to all of your children together with your spouse.
Ridgewood Family Law Attorneys: Allow Your Children to React
There is no way to know how a child will react to news of a divorce. Even though parents may have been there for every day of a child’s life, this is a brand new experience for everyone, and it might not go as expected. The following tips may ease the process for all parties involved:
Do not assume your child’s reaction. As mentioned above, your children may surprise you. A happy child may burst into tears and throw a tantrum. Another child with a more sedate personality may completely understand the change and be glad that the tension in the family home will finally be gone.
Be supportive and understanding of any reaction. There is no right or wrong way to react when a child learns of his or her parents’ divorce. If a child responds with pain, do not shy away from this as it is perfectly natural. In addition to giving them assurances, also validate those feelings by letting them know that you understand their reaction and that you might be feeling sad or angry as well.
Ensure children they are not to blame. Beyond flatly telling your children that the divorce had nothing to do with them (which is a good idea), showing maturity as parents and providing a united front goes a long way towards showing children that their world is not being turned upside down. This may also prevent children from feeling like they must choose sides.
Contact our Hackensack Divorce and Family Law Attorneys Today
The divorce attorneys of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark are led by three partners who are all New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Trial Lawyers, an honor earned by just 2 percent of active lawyers in the state. We believe that divorce is often the best choice for our clients, and believe in offering personal support beyond just legal counsel for those who are experiencing what can be a deeply emotional and stressful time in their lives. Lean on the experience we have built through successfully guiding clients through the divorce process in local New Jersey communities including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Teaneck, Paramus, Fort Lee, and all of Bergen County.
Contact us online or through our Hackensack offices by calling (201) 397-1750 today for a free and confidential consultation with a member of our qualified legal team regarding your individual needs and concerns surrounding your divorce or any other family law issue.