Divorce is often a difficult topic to bring up with other adults, much less with your children. If you and your spouse are splitting up, though, you know you need to break the news to your kids eventually. You want to be as careful and emotionally-supportive as possible. Remember the impact this has on a child’s life and how they feel like it’s out of their control.

To help things go smoothly, here are a few key tips:

  • Tell all of your children at the same time. Do not attempt to “protect” the younger ones by keeping it from them. This increases the chances that they find out from someone else and gives your older children difficult secrets.
  • Pick a comfortable, familiar setting. You want the children to feel at ease.
  • Let the children react in any way they want; your job is just to support them and show them that you care. Reactions are not always what adults expect, so be prepared for that.
  • Remember that this can be a long conversation. Only start it when you have time to talk and answer questions. It’s not something you want to cut short because it’s time for school or work.
  • Avoid important events. Do not bring it up around an event the child has been looking forward to, like a birthday or a holiday or an event at school.

All of this helps you get that conversation started, but that’s only the beginning. Make sure you know exactly what steps to take when filing for divorce so that you can put your family first.