The Law Offices of
Dawn K. Gull

Providing Family Law Representation In Western
Pennsylvania.

Dawn K. Gull

Don’t point fingers when explaining the divorce to your kids

| Nov 18, 2020 | Divorce |

There might be a million small issues that led to your divorce, or there could be one terrible breach of trust that completely undermined the sanctity of your marriage.

Whether your ex put their hands on you, had an extramarital affair or stopped being a supportive partner when you needed them the most, you may have few choices except to move on from a marriage that isn’t healthy and happy anymore.

Your kids should learn about the divorce early

Once you decide to divorce, you are going to need to tell your kids about it. Ideally, both of you can sit down with the children to have a discussion about the end of your marriage before there are changes in living situations or daily life.

However, regardless of whether you deliver the news together or you wind up bearing the sole responsibility for telling your kids about what happened, it’s important that you protect your children from the emotional damage that can result from getting too much information about the downfall of your relationship.

If your children are minors, they probably don’t need to know the details

Especially when pressed with repeated requests for more specific information, you might feel tempted to simply tell them that the other parent cheated on you or did something else truly inappropriate.

While it may be a clear case of one party having fault for your divorce, you typically should not disclose those major parental faults to your children. Doing so could cause damage to both their relationship with the other parent and even their perception of themselves.

Instead, using indirect and blanket explanations, such as no longer feeling happy together, is typically a better approach. You can discuss your actual reasoning when your children are adults if it really weighs on you.

When might your reasoning for filing for divorce need to be transparent?

Only in situations where there is a physical or legal risk for your family is a disclosure about specific circumstances likely necessary. For example, if you intend to flee an abusive relationship and take your kids to protect them, letting them know that you got hurt and that they can’t provide information about where you’re living now to the other parent is important.

In most other situations, unless your ex attempts to slander you to the children and blame you for their actions, approaching the topic with grace, forgiveness and a focus on the kids is usually better than trying to convince them that their other parent was the one to blame.

While your ex may have been a terrible spouse, they may still be able to be a decent parent for your children, and your kids will need the support of both of you more than ever during and after the divorce.