How can I tell my kids about a divorce?

When the thought of a divorce becomes a reality, the number of issues that arise needing your attention can be overwhelming. Many logistics come quickly to the forefront like who will move out and what type of parenting time can be agreed upon until a final settlement is reached? Another pressing issue is how and when to tell your kids that their parents are getting divorced. This can be more complicated if you have multiple children spanning a wide range of ages.

Many people might think that talking to each child one-on-one is a good idea. Certainly this allows you the opportunity to talk at a level appropriate to each child’s maturity and understanding of the situation. However, Psychology Today warns against going this route. Doing this can introduce a dispute between siblings and put unnecessary burdens on the shoulders of kids.

Children who are told about secret information before their siblings can find it hard to hold that inside, especially when they are experiencing many emotions surrounding the news. Children who later find out that they were the last to know might feel resentful either toward you or the kids who knew first. Being told last can equate to being not as important in the mind of a child. One family meeting to break the news about a divorce is best. Discussions at this meeting should be kept high level. If you know any visitation plans or other things that directly impact the kids, you can share those. From this point on, you can have individual conversations

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about how parents in New Jersey can tell their kids about a divorce.