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When should you tell the kids you are getting a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2024 | Divorce

Finding the right time to initiate a divorce conversation with kids can be a challenge for many parents. Should you wait until the school year ends or after the holidays?

While a perfect time may not exist, it can be wise to consider a few things: These include:


You and your spouse changing your minds about divorce after informing your kids you are getting one can be confusing. Thus, be sure you are going through with it before initiating the conversation. This means you should have had the conversation a couple of times, agreed that no other solution exists to save the marriage and obtained adequate information about divorce.

Sooner rather than later

Once you are sure you are getting a divorce, talk to your children sooner, as they may sense that something is wrong. Don’t wait until they start asking questions before holding the conversation. Also, have the discussion before one of you moves out or before moving to different bedrooms.

No interruptions

Consider scheduling the conversation when you won’t be interrupted. You need ample time to answer your kids’ questions and observe how they respond to the news. Therefore, talk to them when they are not hungry, tired, sleepy or in a rush to go to school. You need to be relaxed and not in a hurry to go to work as well.

No major events

Even though there isn’t a perfect time to talk to your kids about divorce, try to avoid major events like holidays and birthdays. You don’t want them to grow up disliking Thanksgiving or their birthday because of the memories it carries.

Once you choose an appropriate time to tell your kids you are getting a divorce, you need to plan what to say. You should also get legal guidance to protect your and their interests.