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What your kids want to know about your divorce

Photo of Karen Lavin

You may think of the end of your divorce as a goal to be reached, and it is in many ways. However, it's not "the end" of the situation when you have kids. You'll still be connected to your ex through your children, and they'll still have a lot of questions about what comes next or where you stand. Some questions they ask may be:

1. Are the two of you still in love?

Be careful answering this. Some children hope their parents will stay in love and eventually get back together, and you don't want to give them false hope just to sound nice.

2. Why did the divorce have to happen?

It's worth sitting down to think about how you'll answer this, especially if you don't really want to get into all of the details with a 5-year-old. You don't want to lie, but that doesn't mean you want to tell your child how your spouse is addicted to alcohol or cheated on you with the neighbor.

3. Were you in love when the kids were born?

Children often want to know that you two were once in love and happy to start a family. This is a delicate situation. While it can be wise to talk about the good times, you also don't want to make it sound like you used to be in love and then got divorced because you had kids. Make sure they know it was not their fault in any way.

Divorce with kids can be complicated, as these questions show. While moving through the process, make sure you know your rights as a parent and how to ensure that your relationship with your kids stays strong.

Source: Divorced Girl Smiling, "Divorce and Children: How to Answer Those Tough Questions They Ask," accessed March 28, 2017

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