Telling Your Children You’re Getting a Divorce

Going through a separation or divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster, often filled with uncertainty. What will happen to the house, where will we live, how long does the process take? And for those with children, the biggest concern of all is what about them – how do we tell them? 

Even if you and your Partner agree that parting ways is the right thing to do, kids can find the breakdown of their parents’ relationship devastating. It’s crucial to break the news to them in the right way. 

Carla Williams, Assistant Manager of the Family & Divorce team here at Bromleys, has put together some tips which will help you to approach the subject of separation and divorce in a child focused way. What you tell the children and the way you do it of course, depends on the age of your child. 

  1. Make sure you’re certain of your decision to separate. If you’re still unsure, avoid giving the children unnecessary worry. 
  1. If you can, tell the kids together and avoid the blame game – present a united front. If you and your ex partner are on reasonable terms, sit down together and work out the best way to tell them. 
  1. Get your timing right – not when you’re in a rush going to school or when your child is tired or distracted. It’s a difficult conversation to have, and you want to avoid external distractions causing heightened emotions.  
  1. Make sure your children are reassured that they are in no way to blame for the separation and although mum and dad won’t be together, you both love them very much. 
  1. Spare the children the details. Use language that your children will understand. Tell them what they need to know. For example, it won’t help them to know about an affair. 
  1. Try to explain any immediate practical changes that the separation is likely to have on the children. If you don’t have the answers, explain that there are further discussions needed and you’ll let them know as soon as you have the answers. 
  1. Listen to what your child has to say. The relationship breakdown will be hard for them too, and they’ll need space to feel their feelings.  
  1. Keep stability and routine as much as possible. 
  1. Find a support network. Consider who you need to tell about the break up – family members, friends, school. Accept support from people that you trust. This is a difficult time for you as well, you will need emotional support and to be able to confide in people that you trust. 
  1. Remember it is a lot for a child to take in, no matter how old they are. Reassure them that this doesn’t have to be the end of the conversation. If they have questions, they can ask you. You are both there for them if they need to talk. 

Divorce and separations are difficult. Our empathetic and experienced Family Team at Bromleys are here to support you and secure the best outcome for you and your family. Call us today on 0161 330 6821 to see how we can help. Alternatively, you can email Carla Williams on