We Treat You Like Family

Tread gently when talking to kids about child custody, divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2021 | Child Custody And Support |

Most parents always put their children’s needs before their own — that’s part of what it is to be a parent. So, when parents in Missouri make the decision to divorce, they must take pause to think about the best way to talk to their children. They need to explain what will happen after the divorce and talk about child custody issues in a way children can understand.

Breaking the news

Telling children they’re going to divorce must be one of the hardest things parents have to do (and they should do it together). It’s true, kids need to know about the divorce, but they don’t need to know the personal particulars. It is incredibly important that the decision is final in both spouse’s minds since telling children about divorce and then deciding to reconcile can be extremely confusing for kids. Children also need time to sit with the news to be able to process it in their own ways.

Cast no stones

Parents should never blame each other for what’s happening in front of their children. They should be as united as possible as they break this life-changing news to their kids.   Children will need to be reassured it’s not their fault, that they are and always will be loved by both parents and that they will never have to take sides.

Children may also be wondering with whom they will live and where. If those are decisions that haven’t been made, tell them it’s being worked out. Child custody is one of the most serious issues when it comes to divorce in Missouri. Discussing it with children can be tricky, but parents can get through the talk when they put their children’s best interests first.

FindLaw Network
St. Louis County Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
LEX | The Missouri Bar