KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Helping Your Children Cope With Divorce Through Successful and Positive Communication

In the United States an average of 45% of all marriages end up resulting in a divorce.  Also approximately 40% of all children in the U.S. will experience the divorce of their parents, and about 80% of them will be placed in the primary physical custody of their biological mother.  A divorce is a tremendously stressful, confusing, and traumatic experience for everyone involved, especially children, because frequently younger children do not grasp and fully understand why their parents are divorcing and often times feel a sense of responsibility for the divorce.  Some of the most stressful aspects and risk factors of a divorce include the initial period after separation, parental struggle, loss of dynamic relationships, financial difficulties, and remarriage.    

Aiding your kids in coping with a divorce requires that you offer your children a stable environment while also attending to your children’s needs with a patient, reassuring, and positive attitude.  While this may be difficult at first it will be worth it in the long run because helping your child cope with a divorce is extremely important for a child’s psychological and even physical health and well-being.  Here are some of the most important things you can do to help your child cope with a divorce.   

Supporting your child through a divorce  

There are numerous beneficial ways you can help your kid’s transition and understand a separation or divorce.  Providing children with structured and consistent schedules will help remind your children that they can rely on you for a sense of structure and stability in their life, in these times of uncertainty.  Treating your children with patience, and also providing them with open ears will help diminish any tension your children may feel while trying to learn how to cope with these unfamiliar, strange circumstances.  Also keeping a civil and working relationship with your ex-spouse can greatly reduce the amount of stress your children feel from having to watch and experience their parents consistently fighting and in conflict.    

What to tell your kids

It is very important that after a divorce you keep an open dialog with your children.  Conversations in which you must explain a divorce and tell your kids about it, can often be difficult and hard to communicate, especially to a child.  It is useful to extensively prepare before having these type conversations with your children.  This way you can have a plan and goal in mind when going into the conversation, and then you can make sure you are explaining and helping your children understand the most important details about the divorce.  You will be much more prepared to help your children comprehend and handle the news of a divorce if you are able to anticipate some of the more difficult questions your children may have for you.     

Here are a few key points to remember when communicating with your child after a divorce -   

  • Tell the truth. Children are allowed to know the reasons for a divorce, however remember that you are talking to a child and simple, short answers are the easiest ones for them to understand.
  • Address changes.  Concede that some things will be different after the divorce, but also remind your children that most things will not be.  Let them know that you are there for them no matter what.
  • Avoid blaming.  It’s essential to be truthful with your kids, without being critical of your ex-spouse.  Make sure that if your ex does not have equal custody of the child, they are still regarded with respect. Sometimes this can be very difficult when there have been hurtful circumstances surrounding the divorce but the blame game will benefit no one, especially not your children.

Successfully communicating with your children after a divorce can have a lasting long term positive effect on your child’s long term physical and emotional health.  

If you are considering filing for a divorce, or if you have been served divorce papers already contact an experienced and successful Los Angeles divorce attorney for a free legal consultation and legal counsel. 


Karie Boyd's picture
Family Law Attorney

Karie Boyd is the founding partner and CEO of the Boyd Law firm offices spread throughout the entire state of California. She is a certified family law specialist who consistently delivers case-winning results for her clients in cases taken to trial as well as positions her clients for attractive out of court settlements, when it comes to that. Karie Boyd received her B.A. from the University of San Diego then went and obtained her law degree from the California Western School of Law, after which she started her successful career as a San Diego family attorney. She is very passionate about her work and loves sharing her knowledge and passion of family and divorce law.