Skip to content

Divorce With Kids - The Basics

Divorce with Kids: How To Tell Your Children You Are Getting a Divorce

January 5, 2019
By

Divorce with kids can be a little more complicated than a divorce that doesn’t involve children – but if you’re a parent who’s contemplating a divorce, here’s what you need to know.

Divorce With Kids: The Basics

It’s far more common for parents to divorce now than it was 50, 25 or even 15 years ago. Decades of research has demonstrated that children are resilient enough to cope with divorce. And because kids learn by seeing, an unhealthy marriage can do a lot more damage than a divorce would.

If you’re divorcing with kids, you need to know:

  • How to tell your kids you’re getting a divorce
  • Kids of different ages cope differently
  • There are things you can do to help your kids through it

Divorce With Kids - How to Tell Your Kids You’re Getting a DivorceHow to Tell Your Kids You’re Getting a Divorce

When you and your spouse decide that it’s time to end your marriage, the next step is telling your children. Telling your kids you’re getting a divorce may be one of the hardest parts of the whole process, but knowing how can make a big difference (for you and for them). It’s usually best if you and your spouse tell them together. That sets the stage for a united parenting front as you begin your divorce.

Use these tips to tell your kids you’re getting a divorce:

  • Tell the truth in an age-appropriate way. Don’t go into grisly detail, but do tell them simple, honest reasons, like “We don’t get along anymore” or “We’ve decided it’s best to pursue different paths.”
  • Remind your kids that you love them. Let them know that even though adults’ love for each other can change, it can’t change between parents and kids. Tell them that you’ll still be taking care of them every day and that you’ll always be there for them, too.
  • Talk about changes. Your kids will want to know how the divorce will affect them, so address any big changes now. Moving is one of the things you’ll want to mention during your initial discussion.
  • Let them know you’re available to talk. Tell your children that if they have any questions, they can come straight to either of you any time.

Coping With Divorce at Different Ages - Divorce With KidsCoping at Different Ages

Even if they look like little adults, kids’ minds haven’t developed the emotional maturity that we adults have. Kids of different ages cope differently. You know your kids best, so be on the lookout for signs of stress – and be willing to get outside help if necessary. Many kids benefit from talking to a therapist or counselor during divorce.

How to Help Your Kids Through Divorce

There are many things you can do to help your kids through divorce. Some of the most important include:

  • Listen to them. When your children share their feelings, stop what you’re doing and become an active listener. You may be surprised at what’s really affecting them, and you can be there to help problem-solve.
  • Help them describe their feelings. Sometimes kids – especially little ones – have a hard time coming up with the right words to describe their feelings. Keep an eye on moods and encourage your kids to talk to you when they need to.
  • Let them be honest. Tell your kids that whatever they have to say is okay. That way, they won’t be as worried to share things that they think will hurt your feelings. (They’ll still be worried, but your reassurance will go a long way in getting them to open up.)
  • Acknowledge the way they feel. Even if you can’t fix your kids’ problems, acknowledging the way they feel is huge to them. Don’t dismiss what your children are feeling, even if it seems silly to you. It isn’t to them.
  • Reassure them that it’s not their fault. Make sure you tell your kids why you’re divorcing – and that it has nothing to do with them.
  • Be patient. Like adults, kids go through ups and downs – especially during divorce. Hang in there with them. Eventually, your patience will help them come to terms with the split.
  • Give them plenty of love. Your kids need lots of love from you right now, and when you provide it, it’s reassuring and calming. Simply expressing how much you care about them can put kids’ worlds back in the right place.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Divorce With Kids?

If you’re a parent thinking about divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, we can help you. Call us right now at 970-488-1887 for a divorce consultation. We’ll answer your questions and begin developing a strategy that gets you – and your kids – the best possible outcome.


April 27, 2021
In Colorado, Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First?

The person who files for divorce first in Colorado won’t automatically have different rights or a stronger divorce case. The courts will give equal consideration to the claims made by petitioners, those who are first to file, and the respondents, their spouses. Still, there can be some advantages to filing for divorce first, depending on […]

April 20, 2021
When to Move Out During a Divorce

Divorce forces a lot of hard choices. For many, one of those choices is when to move out of the family home. If there are safety issues, like threats of domestic violence or child abuse, it’s always wise to move out ASAP. In absence of those issues, the best time to move out will depend […]

April 13, 2021
Being a Single Parent After Divorce

Parenting after divorce can feel like a new world of challenges. While you may have to make some adjustments to learning or returning to parenting on your own after divorce, the good news is that kids are resilient—and there are several things you can do to make the transition easier. 4 Tips for Single Parents […]

April 6, 2021
Can You Refuse a Divorce in Colorado?

No. A divorce case in Colorado will move forward when just one spouse wants to end the marriage. When the other party doesn’t want a divorce, however, (s)he can do things to try to delay the case. Still, the divorce will proceed, despite any additional filings or proceedings that may need to happen. Here’s a […]

Fort Collins Divorce & Child Support Attorneys

Tom Cossitt

Tom Cossitt, Esq.

Family Law
Suzanne Ewy

Suzanne Ewy, Esq.

Family Law
Carla Jaquess

Carla Jaquess, Esq.

Family Law
Attorney Lisa Vigil

Lisa Vigil, Esq.

Family Law
Jenna Hardesty

Jenna Hardesty, Paralegal

Family Law

Testimonials

  • "I am very appreciative of Toms services. English is a second language to me, and this process seemed difficult because of that barrier. He was very patient and thorough making sure I understood everything before he proceeded. I will recommend him to everyone! He truly cares about you, as does his wonderful, helpful team"

    Abigail
    Review from AVVO

  • "I had a very challenging case, one that could have had indefinite financial consequences. Tom Cossitt evaluated my case and identified several strategies for moving forward. I chose one and Tom developed and implemented that strategy with speed and with the utmost in professionalism. The documents he drafted on my behalf, based on extensive research and case law / precedent were thorough and comprehensive. When the Court ruled, it used the arguments as developed by Tom Cossitt verbatim in its decision, and the case was decided in my favor. Needless to say, I was pleased beyond words. Based on my experience and the outcome of my case, I would highly recommend Tom Cossitt to anyone requiring the services of a family law attorney."

    Dan
    Review from Google

  • "I met with as many as 10 different attorneys before coming across Thomas. After our initial consultation, I was very pleased with his knowledge and realistic expectations. During the really tough time, Thomas kept me calm and helped tremendously to get custody of my daughter. He kept me informed on what was going on and would ask for my input; if it was something that was unrealistic or could be done a different way, Thomas would tell me right away. During the hearings, he was amazing. He kept a professional attitude and was great at cross examinations. He took in all of the facts and evidence, and was able to present them efficiently and effectively. Ultimately helping me gain custody of my child."

    Mitchell
    Review from AVVO

The Cossitt Difference: Fort Collins Divorce Attorneys That Care

AFCC Colorado Logo
Law Week Colorado Logo
Colorado Bar Assocation Logo
Fort Collins Chamber Logo
Super Lawyers Logo
Lead Counsel Verified Logo
Avvo Client's Choice Logo
Expertise Logo

Schedule a Consultation with one of our Fort Collins Family Law Attorneys

(970) 488-1887
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram