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How to talk to your children about your divorce

While a divorce can seriously change the life of both spouses, there may be no one more affected than children. According to the CDC, there are 3.2 divorces per 1,000 people in the population, highlighting the fact that divorce is something people deal with every day. With 50 percent of the population in Kentucky being married, over 13 percent of the population is also divorced, meaning the state was tied for the 7th most divorced state in the nation in 2014. Startling statistics like these show how prevalent divorce is and why it's so important to talk to your kids about divorce in the right way.

Set guidelines for talking to your children

In the ideal divorce situation, both parents are okay with the situation and things can settle in a friendly manner, although these cases are few and far between. Many times, divorce causes tension, anger, frustration and depression on the part of both spouses. These emotions can quickly carry over to your children and into their daily lives if they aren't aware of what is going on. Communication is vital when you and your spouse are considering the end of your marriage.

If possible, both parents should always be present when kids are informed about divorce. This gives both parents a chance to remind the kids that the divorce isn't their fault and that both parents still love them the same as they did before. Children need to be reassured that their relationships with you both will change as little as possible despite the big changes about to come.

Give your kids a chance to ask questions, and always answer them as honestly as possible. Kids are tuned in to their parents' emotions and can sense when they are struggling or not telling the truth. Avoid giving them the gritty details, but answer all their questions with an open mind.

Keep the age of your children in mind when speaking to them about your upcoming divorce. Younger children and toddlers are less likely to understand the changes that are coming until they are actually happening. Older children may be confused about what is happening and what the changes mean for them in terms of school, where they live and friends. Pre-teens or young teenagers may internalize their feelings and become angry or depressed.

Prepare your family for change

Divorce can be difficult for all parties involved, and an attorney may be able to help simplify the process and allow you to focus on the well-being of your family.

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