How to Answer Your Child’s Questions About Your Divorce
If you made the decision to seek a divorce, you undoubtedly have an array of questions. This can particularly be the case if you face issues involving child and divorce. Among these issues are likely to be a considerable number of questions from your child about the end of your marriage. With this in mind, there are six key factors to bear in mind when it comes to answering your child’s questions about your divorce:
- Use age-appropriate language
- Leave no illusions about reuniting with the other parent
- Willingly answer questions
- Provide consistent responses
- Emphasize that your child is not responsible for the breakup
- Keep lines of communication open
When your child raises questions about your divorce, be certain to use age-appropriate language. You want to make certain your child clearly understands what you are saying. You also want to be certain that you do not come off as if you are condescending in your replies in discussing matters involving your child and divorce.No Illusions About Reuniting
Children can raise questions that are designed to elicit certain responses they desire. High among these types of desired replies is attempting to get a divorcing person to state that the possibility for reuniting with the other parent exists.
You must be certain that when you respond to questions put forth by your child or children, create no illusions that reuniting with the other parent is a possibility. If there really is a possibility that you and the other parent might reunite, there is no bona fide reason to share such speculation with your child until such a change of circumstances occurs.Willingly Answer Questions
You need to make certain that your children feel that they can ask you questions about the divorce and associated matters. One of the most important strategies to employ to ensure that your children feel free to ask you question is to willingly answer them. Whenever possible, endeavor to respond to your children when a question arises. If an immediate response sincerely is not possible at a particular moment in time, set another time at which you will provide your child a meaningful answer to his or her question.Respond Consistently
You need to take care to be consistent in your responses to questions. You need to be consistent in responding to similar questions on related subjects. You also need to take care that you are consistent in your answers to all of your children if you have more than one. A lack of consistency in a situation involving a child and divorce will make the whole marriage dissolution process more complicated and emotional.Child Is Not Responsible
If a question is suggestive of your child feeling that he or she bears some responsibility for the end of your marriage, you must make it abundantly clear that this is not the case. Younger children are particularly susceptible to the idea that they bear responsibility for their parents breaking up.Maintain Lines of Communication
You must make every reasonable effort to keep lines of communication with your child or children open. This is always a good practice. It is a particularly important policy when you are in the midst of a divorce.
One of the more important steps to take to ensure lines of communication remain open with your child or children is to honestly respond to questions as they arise. Your child can detect if you are being evasive or even dishonest when responding to questions. Perhaps nothing undercuts reliable and open lines of communication in a situation involving child and divorce than the perception on the part of children that a parent is being less that forthcoming.Legal Representation and Divorce
If you are considering a divorce, or if your spouse has filed a marriage dissolution case already, you best protect your vital legal rights be retaining the services of an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer. You can reach us at your convenience by calling (201) 845-7400.