When should you tell your children that you’re splitting up?

If you and your spouse have decided that you’re going to get a divorce, you know that one of the next steps is to inform your children. They deserve to know what’s going on, and they’re going to be a big part of this process.

But when do you do it? Parents often struggle with knowing when is the right time. Here are some tips that can help you.

Don’t wait too long

For one thing, you don’t want to put it off too long. Some parents will wait until one person is moving out and then tell the children, but this can be incredibly jarring for them. It’s better for them to know in advance.

Don’t do it too soon

However, on the other side of the spectrum, you don’t want to do it too soon. Wait long enough that you and your spouse are sure you’re going to get divorced. Create a plan to move forward with the legal process, and then tell your children what’s happening.

Tell them all at the same time

If you have more than one child, gather together all of your children and talk to them at once. Don’t take the approach of having one-on-one conversations with each child in turn. This can cause the news to be leaked to one child by a sibling. Instead, have a conversation so that they all know the basics and then have one-on-one conversations to provide more detail.

Telling your children that you’re getting divorced is just one step, to begin with. Be sure you know about all the legal steps you’ll need to take after that.