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posted in Child Custody

on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

One of the most heart wrenching moments in an ex-spouse’s life may be the conversation that lets children know about their parents’ divorce. Many Stamford parents realize an explanation is unavoidable but have no idea what to say to children or how to say it.

How do adults tell children about the end of a marriage? Should parents go into detail about involved subjects like legal custody or visitation privileges? Family and legal counselors suggest parents share the responsibility of announcing the news in a factual, honest way with a calm, nonjudgmental manner.

The stress that accompanies many divorces can affect a parent’s ability to convey information to children without strong emotion. Advisers say the moment children learn of the divorce, they cannot center on how parents feel. Children need straightforward information that reassures them.

A parental separation and divorce upsets children’s beliefs and threatens their security. Divorcing spouses must state the truth about family changes while letting children know divorce will not change the love parents have for them.

The conversation about divorce and the way it is handled by both parents set the future tone. Living arrangements and lifestyles will change for ex-spouses but co-parenting responsibilities will not. Child care is a cooperative effort that transcends divorce even as the process permanently alters the family structure.

Children can be disturbed by disparaging comments about an ex-spouse and overshared details about why the marriage fell apart. Counselors remind parents that the end of love between spouses does not change the love children have for each of their parents.

Experts recommend discussing divorce before one spouse leaves. Once children have learned the truth, parents should follow through with separation. This is the first of many changes in a transition to a new way of life.

While attorneys provide legal support for divorcing spouses, family therapists are the best resource for spouses and children having difficulty coping with divorce’s emotional upheaval.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, “Telling Your Child About The Divorce,” Edward D. Farber, Jan. 18, 2013

Tags: child custody, divorce

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