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Create a Plan for Telling Your Kids about Your Split

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Breaking the news to your children about your plan to divorce can be one of the hardest parts of a split for some parents. This conversation may never be painless, but by planning ahead with your spouse about how you want this conversation to go, you can make it slightly easier on your kids. Read on for some techniques on how to prepare to discuss your divorce with your children.


  • Write out what you plan to say. Having a written version of what you want to say when you tell your kids about your split can help. You might want to meet with your spouse to write a draft together. This can help you keep the conversation from becoming contentious and can allow both spouses to have input into how you present the divorce to your kids. If you and your spouse aren’t able to write out a plan together, send a draft of what you plan to say to your spouse to give them a sense of how you want to frame it.
  • Time the conversation well. Try to avoid telling your children about your divorce immediately before school or bed. Rather, choose a time when they’ll have an opportunity to process the news alone for some time. It might make sense to tell your children when they have time off from school for a holiday, but if possible, avoid having the conversation on a holiday itself, so as to avoid tainting the day permanently for your kids.
  • Anticipate your children’s questions. Your children are likely to have a lot of questions after you tell them about an upcoming divorce. Be prepared to offer an answer about why you’re divorcing, where the children will live and with whom, whether they’ll need to move, and even where they’ll spend holidays. Prepare answers with your spouse for these questions so that you aren’t caught off-guard. Be careful not to point fingers at the other spouse or use this emotional moment to put your spouse on the spot on issues you haven’t yet resolved. Instead, take the chance to remind your children of how much you love them and how that fact won’t change, regardless of whether they choose to live with the other parent.

If you’re planning to divorce and want skilled, compassionate legal assistance for your divorce, contact the Hudson Valley divorce lawyers at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a consultation at 845-331-4100 (Kingston), or 845-236-4411 (Marlboro).

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Kingston Office

255 Fair Street, P.O. Box 3356
Kingston, New York 12402

Phone: 845-331-4100
Fax: 845-331-6930

Marlboro Office

1390 Route 9W, P.O. Box 727
Marlboro, NY 12542

Phone: 845-236-4411
Fax: 845-236-3190

Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, is located in Kingston, NY and Marlboro, NY and serves clients in and around Ulster County as well as parts of Orange, Dutchess, Columbia and Greene Counties as well as many surrounding areas.

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