How to tell people you are getting divorced

How to tell people you are getting divorced

21 Jan 2019
We meet many couples who having decided to divorce their first stumbling block is how to tell other family members.   Worried about the initial reactions or maybe repercussions further down the line; where children are involved it is important to plan and prepare your announcement.   
In an ideal world we would recommend
  • Telling your children together.  All your children at same time and both parents with a joint message you are both happy with.
  • Take time to do this, not rushing between activities or heading out to work, when you can also take time to answer questions and reassure them.  Try to ensure there will be no distractions so turn your phones to silent.
  • Be prepared for more questions at bedtime when their minds start to unravel and also for not having all the answers ready.   It’s okay to say you haven’t got everything sorted yet. 
  • Avoid blaming one another.
Here’s a short VT from Relate that you might find helpful. 
Here at Hartlaw, we have the HSSF mark showing our commitment to helping you work with your ex-partner in the best interests of your children.   Dianne also boasts a specialist qualification to work with children during the mediation process to ensure their voices are heard.  
Over the next couple of months, we will look to give you a few pointers to help you out and support you through this process.  Firstly, we look at the little one’s.
The power of books and the repetition of reading for little one’s will be a great asset to you and them.  We have a good library of books you can come and look at yourself and maybe borrow, but here’s a recommended list if you want to get your own copies:
Children Don’t Divorce by Rosemary Stones.  This book reaffirms “your mum and dad will always be your mum and dad.”
Dinosaurs Divorce – A Guide For Changing Families by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown-Little. This book is described as a real 'security blanket.’
My Family’s Changing – A First Look At Family Breakup (Pat Thomas).  A beautifully illustrated picture book to support children through divorce or separation. The fears, worries and questions surrounding this difficult experience are made accessible and approachable.
Two Of Everything (Babette Cole). Important messages are conveyed in such a way that children are not only entertained, but also reassured.
Dianne’s tip is to have two copies of the same book at each parent’s house and you can both then read the book to give the same message to your children.
If you find video’s more effective then they might prefer this snippet from the much-loved Sesame Street.
For early readers maybe look at The Suit Case Kid by Jacqueline Wilson. 
"A deeply moving account of a child's agony and bewilderment as she suffers from her parents' divorce. Feelings tumble out in a cascade of experiences, at once painful and funny. Language is racy and modern, superbly capturing the experience of many children today" (Junior Education)
There’s even a kindle edition of this.
Divorce Is Not The End Of The World:-  Zoe and Evan’s Coping Guide For Kids (Zoe and Evan Stern). From their own experiences, Zoe and Evan, decided to share their experience in this positive and practical guide for kids.  

This might seem like the hardest conversation you are going to have, and we fully appreciate that which is why we are here to support you to make the mediation process as amicable so you can concentrate on the kids as your priority

For an appointment with Dianne or Kate please call 01937 547020.

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

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