The decision to divorce in Florida is difficult for many couples, but deciding how to tell their children may be even more challenging. Planning how and when to do it, as well as what you say, can help soften the blow.
Take your time
You don’t have to tell your kids immediately that you’re getting a divorce. You’ll have a lot of logistics to work out that don’t involve your children before one of you moves out, so take this time to think about what you will say. Set a time and place to talk to them when you are all together. Before the announcement, practice together what you say and do, if possible. If it’s impossible to do so, make sure your spouse knows what you will say.
It’s essential to be honest about why you have decided to divorce and to communicate that your children are not to blame. Neither should you blame your spouse. Instead, give your kids practical information about what will happen and when it may occur. They may not say anything immediately but be prepared for questions later, whether in a few days or weeks. Children of divorcing parents need lots of reassurance and indicate that you will not abandon them and will continue to love them.
Focus on your family during negotiations
The divorce process may take time, sometimes longer than you expect. No matter how much time you spend working out the details, always keep the focus on your family’s needs during divorce negotiations. When you have kids, it’s important to put their needs before your own, even if you don’t get everything you want.
Some families may be able to include their kids during some aspects of the divorce negotiations, particularly if they are teenagers who have formed specific ideas. You won’t want them there at every session, but when the topic involves spending time with mom or dad, traveling, or where they will go during school vacations, getting their input can help make the situation easier for everyone as you are addressing their needs and validating the importance of their opinions.