Your children are pretty young, but you and your spouse don’t think you can live together anymore. You’ve talked with your spouse about a custody agreement, and you’ve come up with something that you think will work.
You have a great start on making this a positive situation despite separating, but you haven’t spoken to your children yet. They’re in elementary school, so you know that what you do or say at this age could really make a difference in the way they develop in the future.
You want them to feel confident and secure, even though your home life is going to change. So, what should you do?
Talking to your kids needs to be a combined effort
Since you and your spouse agree on how you’re going to move forward, this is a great time to sit down with your children and to talk about what a divorce is. Talk to them about how the divorce is going to affect your home life, but be cautious about making this too complicated.
When kids are elementary age, they may not be able to fully express themselves or their emotions. During your discussion, make sure to keep the talk simple. Explain where they’re going to live and what will happen. Tell them you love them and make it clear that they were not to blame for this situation. Children often need reassurance during divorce, but if they see that both of their parents care about them and just want to live apart, they’ll be able to adjust much better than in a volatile situation.
Your attorney will help you draw up the custody schedule and have it approved, too, so that you can be certain of the schedule and help your children understand it.