When is the best time to tell your children that you are getting divorced? We often hear this question from our divorce mediation clients.
While your children may already have a sense of what is going on, we usually recommend waiting to tell them about the divorce until you have a parenting plan in place. Once you break the news to them, your kids are going to want to know where everyone is going to live, and how the new dynamic is going to affect their own lives. The better able you are to answer these questions, the less stressful the changes will likely be on your kids. Children, like adults, feel uncomfortable with uncertainty. Once they know the plan, they can begin the process of adapting.
In divorce mediation, a neutral, impartial mediator works with divorcing parents to develop their parenting plan. In these plans, we outline weekly schedules, holiday schedules, and strategies for financing your new family arrangement. Generally, the parenting plans allow for flexibility, because the needs of the parents and the kids change somewhat over time. Still, the parenting plans provide a blueprint for moving forward, which can be reassuring and helpful to both the parents and the children in the family.