Five Things Not To Tell Your Child During A Divorce

You’ve probably heard a lot of advice on how to tell your children that you are getting a divorce or how to speak with your child about custody and visitation. But is there anything that you absolutely shouldn’t say?

Here are a few examples of what you should never say to a child of any age regarding your divorce:

•    “Your mother/father is a bad person.” Your divorce is between you and your spouse – your children should not be involved in the private reasons that it did not work out. Even if your spouse has hurt your feelings, don’t make them out to be evil or uncaring to your kids. As hard as it may be, never badmouth your spouse in front of your children.
•    “Your mother/father doesn’t care about you.” It is extremely important that your child feels love and support from both parents during a divorce. Regardless of the details of your relationship with your partner, your child should understand that they are loved and that despite what the final custody plan is, both parents want the child in their life. If one parent is not interested in supporting the child, truthfully explain the circumstances preventing that parent from being there.
•    “The divorce is your fault.” Children are indeed sometimes a factor in a divorce in an indirect manner – they can cause financial stress, arguments about upbringing, or even emotional stress. However, a child should absolutely never be blamed for the breakup. If anything, the child should be reassured that the divorce had nothing to with anything that they have done.
•    “What does your mother/father do or say while I am gone?” Your children have been through enough. Do not ask them to gather information or spy for you. Not only does it involve them in your private issues, it will also force them to take sides.
•    “I don’t want to divorce, but your mother/father does.” This is private information that can confuse and distress a child of any age. And, again, it can force a child to take sides or enter the conflict.
Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
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