Tips for Telling Your Children About Your Divorce

May 10, 2022 | By Samantha J. Evian

As a divorce attorney, I am often asked for advice on how and when parties should tell their children about the divorce. The initial conversation is important but parents must also keep in mind that their behavior going forward through the divorce and custody is also crucial in how it will affect their children. Tips and considerations are outlined below to guide you through this crucial time:

1. United front

If possible, the conversation(s) should take place with the other parent as a united front, which can help the children feel more comfortable. Although this is not always possible, ideally this conversation should be as cohesive as possible.

2. Timing

The timing should be considered and carefully planned by both parents.

3. Location

Where you tell your children should also be planned and considered depending on the circumstances of each case.

4. Content

Discuss age-appropriate topics and specifics, sometimes less is more. Both parents will need to put aside their own emotions and focus on what is in the children’s best interest with regard to the details of the conversation.

5. Strategize

Both parents should plan and discuss in detail beforehand the terms of the conversation.

6. Reaction

All children are different and do not be surprised if your children react differently or need time to understand and manage their feelings. Listening to their feelings and responses and putting aside your own feelings will be helpful and in everyone’s best interest.

7. Follow up

Conversations are essential and plan on allowing everyone time to process and manage their emotions.

There are many resources to aid in these conversations – you are not alone. Therapists, other family members, your legal advisors and friends may be beneficial in aiding or guiding you in these ongoing conversations.

The information contained in this publication should not be construed as legal advice, is not a substitute for legal counsel, and should not be relied on as such. For legal advice or answers to specific questions, please contact one of our attorneys.

About the Authors

Samantha Evian

Samantha J. Evian


Samantha’s practice concentrates on family law exclusively. As an experienced divorce attorney, Samantha understands all aspects of matrimonial litigation and negotiation. She has extensive experience dealing with complex family law matters such...

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