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Divorce in Alaska: Breaking the news to the kids

For parents, breaking the news of their decision to divorce to their kids may be one of the most challenging aspects of the marriage dissolution process.

Going through a divorce is often difficult for people in Anchorage, and throughout Alaska. For parents, however, the hardest part may be breaking the news to their children. This is because children often do not understand why their parents cannot stay together, and may even feel as though they are responsible for the split. While discussing the end of a marriage will likely be one of the most challenging conversations that parents will ever have with their children, there are things they can do to help cushion the blow.

Talk to children together

Although people who are divorcing may have feelings of animosity or hurt toward one another, it is important that they put them aside when they are talking to their children. It is recommended that parents sit down and tell their children together about their decision to divorce. Parents magazine suggests that they present the news as a joint decision, even if it is not. This may help reassure children that their parents will still be there for them, and will be able to continue working together as parents.

Tell all of the kids

Sometimes, people may choose to tell their children separately. This is especially true in cases when they have children who are older and more mature, as well as younger kids. Parents may feel that they are sheltering their younger children. However, Psychology Today points out that having to keep this type of secret from their siblings may put a burden on children. Therefore, it is advisable that people tell all of their children about their decision to divorce at the same time. Then, they may choose to talk to each child on his or her own to assess how he or she is handling the news.

Answer children's questions

Whether immediately after they are told, or after the news has had time to set in, children are likely to have questions and concerns about their parents' pending divorce. This may include wondering where they will live, how often they will see each parent and whether they will have to change schools. Although there may be some uncertainty regarding how everything will be settled, it is advisable for parents to do their best to answer their children's questions. If they are unsure about things, it is okay for people to be honest and tell their kids that they do not know. Avoiding answering their questions may add to the anxiety and stress children may face when dealing with their parents' divorce.

Avoid negativity and blame

Sometimes, people may blame their soon-to-be former spouses for their breakups. It is not a good idea to express these feelings to their children, however. Additionally, parents should refrain from speaking negatively about their ex to, or in front of, their children. This may put unnecessary pressure on kids, making them feel like they have to pick a side. Furthermore, it might have a negative impact on their relationship with their children, or on their children's relationships with their other parents.

Seeking legal representation

The longer a divorce is drawn out, the harder it may be on families in Alaska, and elsewhere. As such, people who are considering a divorce may consider working with an attorney. A lawyer may guide them through the process, and negotiate on their behalf, eliminating the emotions. This may help expedite the process so that they, and their families can begin to adjust and rebuild.

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The Law Offices of Herbert M. Pearce

The Law Offices of Herbert M. Pearce
731 I Street Suite 203
Anchorage, AK 99501

Local: 907-276-0113
Toll-Free: 800-579-4214
Fax: 907-258-1232
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