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Tips for telling your kids about a divorce

You worry that your kids will feel devastated to learn that you and your spouse plan to get divorced. You know that it's the right thing for your life, but you understand that children can take it fairly hard.

You want to focus on your children's well-being throughout this entire process, and that starts with breaking the news to them initially. Here are a few things you should do to make it go smoothly:

1. Don't overshare

Honesty is important. Don't lie to the children about the reasons for your divorce. At the same time, though, remember that kids do not need to know about adult problems and issues. This is especially true with very young kids, but it applies at any age. Don't go too far into all of the details of your relationship or why you opted to end it. Just stick to the basics. Talk to the children more about their lives and what they'll experience after the divorce than why you and your ex decided to end things.

2. Work as a team

It can be hard, but you and your spouse need to be a team for your kids, at least one last time. No matter how you feel about one another, you want to tell the children when you are together. Sit them all down and have what is essentially a family meeting. Show them that they still have the support of both parents. Under no circumstances should you and your spouse rush to be the first ones to break the news.

3. Get the children together

Similarly to the above, make sure that you have all of the kids together when you finally have that conversation. It can be hard when you have busy teenagers or a large family, but you definitely do not want to tell any of the children before the others. This opens the door for them to find out from someone else or to feel like you neglected them. This should be a family conversation with everyone involved.

4. Find the right time

You must pick the right time for this conversation. That may mean avoiding important events for the kids, like a birthday or a holiday. It also means having the talk when you don't have anything pressing to do afterward. You need time to support them, answer questions and provide information. This isn't a five-minute chat before they go to school. Only do it when you can devote as much time as necessary to the conversation.

After the conversation

With that conversation in the books, you still want to keep putting the children first. Make sure you know what legal steps you can take in Colorado to do so.

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