After having children, spouses in Pennsylvania and elsewhere often believe that they will always remain a family unit. While this is true for many married parents, the reality is that divorce still plagues half of all married couples, and those will children are not immune from this. Divorce is never easy, even when spouses try to make it as amicable as possible. Emotions are running in every direction, and when children are involved, parents are often questioning how best to discuss the news with them.
There is no easy way to tell a child that there parents are no longer going to be married or live together; however, it is something that must be shared if a child is of a certain age. Explaining the changes not only helps a child adapt to their new reality, but it can also help parents navigate the divorce process.
As parents explore ways to discuss divorce with their children, they are also determining how they will raise their children during and after the process. It can cause some major questions to surface, such as what custody will look like, which parent will move out of the home, will child support be necessary and how will holidays and extra curricular activities be addressed.
While there is no best or perfect way to share the news with your children, it is advised that parents be as honest as possible. Telling the truth, especially when they ask specific questions, will help a child cope with the situation. It can also make co-parenting easier. It is obvious that the amount of information shared should be based on the child’s age; the answers provided should still be the truth.
Although honesty is the best policy, this is not the time to share negative information about the other parent to the children. Divorce is very much an adult matter with adult issues. Emotions can run high and conflicts could arise. Children may observe this and have questions, but this does not give a green light to speak ill of the other parents. Children need to know that even though their parents do not get along or no longer live together, they are still a family.
Navigating a divorce can be difficult, especially when children are involved. There are many things to consider, such as custody and support, on top of other major divorce decisions. Thus, it is important that divorcing parents understand their rights and ways to best navigate and resolve and divorce issue they may encounter.