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A roadmap for explaining divorce to your adult kids

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2021 | Divorce

For married parents, it is rarely easy to inform children about an impending divorce. After all, even if your kids have grown, they may feel a sense of abandonment, uncertainty or even anger. They may also wonder about their future relationships with you and their other parent.

When you are ready, it is usually a good idea to discuss your divorce with your children. Creating a conversation roadmap may be useful.

Collaborate with your spouse

When they hear about your upcoming divorce, your children may assume you despise your spouse. This may make them feel insecure, even if they have their own families. By joining forces with your husband or wife to have a collaborative conversation, you present a united front. Likewise, explaining your decision to go through divorce mediation may help to reassure your adult children.

Expect some sensitive questions

Even though your kids probably need to know about your divorce, they do not need to know the messy or intimate details. Still, your children may have trouble identifying and respecting boundaries. While your kids may ask you some sensitive questions, you control which ones you choose to answer.

Discuss your mental state

Regardless of their age, your children want to know you are in a healthy mental place. Letting your kids know you are ok may put their minds at ease. If you are struggling with the end of your marriage, explaining your coping strategy may also be beneficial.

Talk about the immediate future

You and your spouse may have some imminent plans with your kids. These may include vacations, holidays or even weekly lunches. Before telling your children about your divorce, talk to your husband or wife about these plans. Then, tell your kids how you intend to handle the immediate future.

Because divorce may be hard on both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you each may need to rely on your children for emotional support. Putting some effort into telling your kids about the end of your marriage may decrease your chances of hurting or alienating them.