Children of Divorce: A Family Approach to Discussing Divorce

Divorce can be a sensitive subject, especially when delivering such heartbreaking news to kids. While divorce means the dissolution of a marriage, when children are involved, positive guidance should be upheld by both parents. When parents work together, children of divorce have a much easier time adjusting.

Children are intuitive and often can sense tension in the home much sooner than parents think. They may have questions or want to discuss what their parents’ divorce means for their future. It is best to plan a specific time to discuss the news in a calm environment with open and honest communication among the family.

According to research provided by Northern Illinois University, “25 percent of adolescents who have experienced divorce become disengaged from their families compared to only 10 percent of adolescents from two parent homes.” Children of divorce may experience higher academic, psychological, or behavioral struggles.

Children of divorce need to have a strong understanding that a change in family life will not disrupt the attention or love given to them by either parent. Ways to help children cope with divorce include:

  • open and consistent communication;
  • setting aside family time; and
  • planning ahead for the future of their educational and financial needs.

It may not be easy or applicable to share the news with both parents present, but it is important to refrain from speaking poorly of marriage or of either parent. The focus of the discussion should be to inform children of the news and assure them that they are not responsible for the divorce, including a reiteration that both parents love them unconditionally.

Divorce with or without children involved is never an easy change to make. It is not a decision that should be made without careful thought. If you are considering a divorce in Illinois, contact an experienced Wheaton divorce attorney today. We will help you through the process and answer any questions you may have about custody.