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How to tell your family about your divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2022 | Family Law |

The decision to get divorced is rarely easy. Neither is finding out from your spouse that your marriage is over. But whether you initiated the divorce or not, sooner or later you will have to tell your relatives what is going on. Your children, parents and other loved ones need to know.

This is not an easy conversation (or series of conversations) to have. But if you handle it carefully and with sensitivity, you can inform your relatives of this change in your life without revealing more than you are comfortable sharing or causing damage to your family relationships. Here are a few tips.

Telling your parents

Many people getting divorced in DuPage County worry about telling their parents. They fear that their parents will be disappointed in them, blame them for what happened, or try to interfere. Let them know why the divorce is happening without going into unnecessary detail. Tell them your plans for the future, and let them know that you need their emotional support. Be firm that you will not be getting back together with your ex. Ask them to be polite to your ex if they interact with them post-divorce, which is likely if you have children together.

Telling your children

Even more than with your parents, you must handle this conversation delicately. You must tailor how you tell your kids to their age and maturity level. A 5-year-old will not be able to express their emotions the same way as a 12-year-old. For younger kids, keep it simple and concrete, such as which parent will be moving out and how often the child will see them. Older children can be more open to understanding the issues behind the divorce, though you should avoid blaming or demonizing your ex in their presence. Let them know they can always talk to you about their feelings, even when it seems like they don’t want to share.

Your divorce affects more people than just you and your spouse. But ultimately, you must put your children’s best interests and your own rights first.