Published July 22, 2017 on behalf of Wade Grimes Friedman Meinken & Leischner PLLC

When faced with the need to have “the talk” with their kids, many Virginia parents who are preparing to divorce dread the reaction that may follow, as well as the questions that are likely to arise. This is never an easy discussion to have, but with the right degree of preparation, parents often find that it is not as difficult to navigate than they may have thought. One of the most helpful things to keep in mind is to approach the topic of divorce from the perspective of a child.

Kids are by nature extremely self-centered beings. They view the world in relation of how it affects their daily lives, and process information from the perspective of how any given event will directly affect them. When it comes to divorce, they may have questions about why mom and dad made this decision to change the structure of the family. But a great deal of their concern and anxiety will rest upon how those changes will impact their day-to-day existence.

Parents should be prepared to assure children that the decision to divorce was one made between adults, and has nothing to do with the children or anything that they have said or done. This message is best followed by the promise that the love between a parent and child is something that never changes, and will remain strong even after the family has moved from one household into two. These facts should be repeated throughout the initial conversation and again in the months to come.

Virginia parents should also have a rough idea of how their child custody arrangement will be structured before talking with their children about the divorce. Kids should walk away from this conversation knowing where they will live most of the time, and how frequently they will have the chance to spend time with the other parent. This can go a long way toward soothing their initial concerns about the changes to come.

Source: The Huffington Post, “9 Things To Consider Before Telling Your Kids About The Divorce“, Armin Brott, July 26, 2014