How to Tell Your Kids You're Getting a Divorce

How to Tell Your Kids You’re Getting a Divorce

When it comes to divorce, the kids always seem to get the short end of the stick. It’s up to you to figure out how to tell your kids that you and their other parents are getting divorced. It’s important that you do it in a way that allows them to feel safe and supported during this very difficult time. Here’s How to Tell Your Kids You’re Getting a Divorce in the most supportive way possible.


Let your kids know it’s not their fault


You may worry that your kids will blame themselves or think they did something wrong. Explain that, while their parents are no longer together, divorce isn’t anyone’s fault and it doesn’t mean their family is any less special or loved.


Remind them of all of the good things in their lives: how much you love them. How important they are; how happy you are about their upcoming birthday party, etc. If possible, find a friend, family member or counsellor who can help with talking to your kids about divorce.


Write down talking points


Chances are you’ve already talked with your soon-to-be ex about how, when and where you will break the news to your kids.


That’s all great—but it’s also important for each of you to have some talking points written down that both parents can reference during those first, difficult conversations


These talking points will be your road map in those early days. Look over them together before having any discussions with your children.


If possible, practice what you plan to say beforehand so everyone is ready for how things may unfold. It will likely take a few go-rounds before everyone is comfortable discussing what’s happening.


Choose the right time and place


When telling your kids about your divorce, it’s important to remember that timing is everything. Don’t announce it at dinner, for example—kids will often assume there’s food on the table because their parents are staying together.


Also, be sure to choose a place where you can have some privacy and not risk interruption.And try to stick with one kid at a time; one-on-one conversations like these allow you more control over how they absorb the news, while also giving them an opportunity to ask questions or react as they please. (It might also sound cruel, but if possible, don’t tell your kids on Christmas Eve.)


Read more: The Psychological Effects of Divorce on Children: How to Help Your Child Heal


Answer questions as they come up If your kids aren’t home, there is no reason for you to tell them immediately.


In fact, it might be easier for everyone if you wait until they are all home. Instead of telling them together or in front of friends and family, find a private moment with each child where you can answer their questions about what’s going on with your marriage and how it will affect their lives.


Involve them in decision making


How you involve your kids in decision-making will depend on their age. If they’re old enough, involve them in some of your conversations with your soon-to-be ex about how things will change for them.


Keep talking and listening to them as things develop; they are bound to have many questions. They need reassurance that everything is going to be okay. Nothing has changed except Mommy and Daddy won’t live together anymore.



Deciding when and how to tell your kids that you’re getting divorced is, in many ways, just like deciding when and how to break up with their other parent. It’s something you never want them to find out about through some secondhand source.


So it’s important for you to make your split as amicable as possible.

Whether you are already separated or are still living together under one roof, here are some tips on how to tell your children that mommy and daddy will no longer be together.