How To Talk To Your Children About Divorce
Divorce is nearly always difficult for the family, and any children of the marriage are often adversely affected, but long-term harm is relatively rare. There are also effective ways you can talk with your children about divorce, so you and the kids can move forward together positively. If you are involved in a divorce and there are children involved, please speak with our divorce lawyer in Hinsdale at Dan Walker Law Office for legal advice.
About Illinois Divorce Laws
The state’s divorce laws are outlined in 750 5/401 of the Illinois Statutes, which note that one spouse must be a state resident for at least 90 days before filing for divorce. Like many states, Illinois has a ‘no-fault’ standard for divorces, meaning it is unnecessary to prove that one spouse did anything wrong that led to the divorce.
Illinois law also says that the relationship between the parties is irretrievably broken, which means you and your ex could not get along and need to be divorced. Illinois law also states that if the couple lives separate and apart for a continuous period of at least six months before the divorce judgment is entered, there is a presumption that there are irreconcilable differences in the marriage. Regarding children, the laws of the state provide that the best interests of the child will determine how the divorce court decides the allocation of parental responsibilities.
Talking To Your Children About Divorce
If you and your spouse decide to go through with an Illinois divorce, preparing your children for what is ahead is essential. When talking to the children, you must remember their ages and tailor the conversation accordingly.
For example, if you have young children, it is critical to maintain routines, keep household rules and expectations consistent, and offer other affection than normal. Keep reassuring younger children that the split is not because of anything they did and that you will always love them.
Teenagers will often ask about your divorce. They may wonder how it will affect where they live, go to school, and see their friends. Keep divorce conversations calm and open, and watch how they react. You also should communicate that you have high expectations for them throughout the process.
Keep It Simple
For kids of all ages, it helps to keep the divorce message as simple and straightforward as possible. Avoid unnecessary details that only complicate the discussion and may upset the children even more. For example, you may just communicate with your spouse that both of you will be happier when you are apart the family will be better off if there are two homes. It usually does not help to get into long-winded explanations of the divorce, so try to avoid them.
Stress That The Children Are Safe
Children usually focus on whether their lives will stay safe and secure during and after the divorce, so provide plenty of reassurance. However, they also will wonder how the breakup will affect their everyday lives, such as where they go to school and live.
Your children will also feel safer and less stressed if there is no blame mentioned for the breakup. Do not be critical of your spouse or it can put the kids in the middle, which only leads to more problems.
Point Out That The Divorce Is Not Their Fault
Children may be convinced there is something they could have done to keep their parents together. Continue to reinforce that they are not responsible and that it was a decision between the two of you.
Talk To Our Divorce Lawyer In Hinsdale Today
Divorce is never easy, but it is even more challenging when children are involved. If you need help with a divorce, contact our divorce lawyer in Hinsdale today at Dan Walker Law Office at (630) 920-8800.