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How to prepare to tell your children you're filing for divorce

Adult issues often have significant impact on children's lives. For instance, if you lose a job and find another but your income decreases, it may affect your ability to provide for your children's needs. One of the most common issues that greatly affect kids' lives is divorce. If you're planning to file a petition in a Connecticut court but haven't told your children yet, there are several things to keep in mind to help them cope when the time comes.

Remembering that children do not necessarily need a tremendous amount of detail about the events that led to your decision to divorce is a key factor in helping them come to terms with the situation and move on in life. Building a strong support network from the start is also a good idea. This network can include grandparents, teachers, counselors, faith leaders and others in your community who can provide encouragement and assistance as needed.

Work as a team. It's better for your kids

It may be your desire to no longer be married to your spouse, but your children love both their parents. This is why it's always best, if possible, to sit down as a family with both parents present to share the news of an impending divorce with your children. The following list includes other helpful tips that may come in handy as you and your children adapt to a new lifestyle: 

  • Neither parent needs to be the bad guy. Children may feel stressed and confused if either parent blames the other for the divorce, which is why it's a good idea to avoid speaking negatively about each other in front of your kids.
  • Keep private issues between spouses. Do your children really need to know that your spouse cheated on you or gambled away all the money in your savings account?
  • It's critical that your kids know they can share their thoughts and feelings after learning that their parents are no longer going to live in the same house. If they worry that you'll be upset with them, they might not come to you for support.
  • Emotions can be all over the place as children learn to cope with divorce. Try not to take it personally if your kids feel angry or start to regress or become rebellious.

No two families are exactly the same, which is why the court makes divorce-related decisions on a case-by-case basis. This can be a good thing insofar as helping kids cope is concerned. You can approach each of your children's needs as they arise and reach out for additional support as needed.

Divorce definitely disrupts and changes children's lives, but it doesn't necessarily have to ruin them. If your kids are confident that they can come to you to ask questions or talk about their feelings, and they have ample opportunity to spend time with both parents, chances are they will be able to rebound in a healthy, productive manner.

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