Discussing divorce, child custody with kids can be tricky

Being a parent often means putting the needs of the children before one's own. Even if Virginia parents feel emotionally vulnerable themselves after deciding to divorce, they know that the situation can be even more difficult for their children. As a result, they may have to find ways to put their emotions aside to talk to their children about the divorce and child custody.

Breaking such news can be tricky. Children should certainly know about the divorce, but it should only come up after the parents have firmly decided that they are ending their marriage. Telling the kids that their parents are no longer going to be together and then changing their minds can be confusing and detrimental to children. It is also important that both parents and children have time to process and discuss the news and be with each other.

Children may have many questions about why the divorce is happening and avoiding blame is often the best. Children certainly need reassurance that it is not their fault, but it is also wise to avoid blaming the other parent. It can be difficult for children to feel as if they have to be on one parent's side or the other, and parents may need to set aside their own feelings toward the other parent for the good of their children.

Children may also wonder where they will live and with whom, and those answers may not be immediately obvious. If Virginia parents can work together, they may come to child custody terms on their own and can tell their children. However, some parents may have differing views, and the court may have to step in to come to custody terms.

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