Florida divorce: How to talk to the kids

For divorcing parents in Florida, breaking the news to their children may be challenging, but there are things they can do to help ease the blow.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida's divorce rate in 2014 was 4.0 for every 1,000 people. Often, those who make the difficult decision to end their marriages have children. For divorcing parents, breaking the news of a divorce to their children may be one of the most challenging conversations they have with their children. There is no way for parents to eliminate all of the hurt their divorce may cause their kids, but there are things they can to do help them break the news as gently as possible.

Plan what to say

Thinking about the end of a marriage and how to tell their children may be unpleasant for parents. However, this discussion is not one that they will likely want to improvise. Therefore, they should determine what messages they want to get across to their children and consider what they will say ahead of time. This may help them softly present the news in a way that does not damage their children's relationship with either parent.

Discuss divorce as a family

At least initially, it is advisable to discuss divorce as a family. Even if parents are acrimonious, they should set their differences aside in order to break the news to their children. This may help them reassure their children that they will both continue to love and support them. Further, people should tell all of their children that they are getting divorced at the same time. Doing so may help them avoid putting an unnecessary burden on the children who they tell and sending the wrong message to those who they do not.

Focus on the children

Scientific American reports that research has shown the number of children who experience issues due to divorce is limited. Parents may help their kids adjust to the change by ensuring that they keep the focus on them, including when they break the news. For instance, rather than getting into specifics about the breakdown of the marriage, parents may tell their children that they have decided it would be best to live apart. It is suggested that people give their kids an explanation for the divorce while keeping the conversation age appropriate.

Answer the kids' questions

Often, children will have a number of questions when they are told that their parents are getting divorced. Some may want to know if the situation is their fault, while others may wonder if there is a chance their parents may get back together. Kids may also have more pragmatic concerns such as if they will have to move and if they will still be able to participate on their sports teams. Parents should do their best to answer their children's questions to help put their minds and ease their anxieties.

Working with an attorney

When marriages are drawn out, it may make the process all the more upsetting and difficult for Florida families. This is especially true for the children who are involved. In order to help them resolve their issues and efficiently settle their divorces, it may benefit those who are considering a divorce to obtain legal representation.