How to Tell Children You’re Getting a Divorce

figures w divorce in the middleOnce the level of suffering and pain has become intolerable, when dreams have been shattered and hope for the future has been lost, one or both of the parents may decide to divorce.

Telling the children is an undertaking of great importance: lives will be changed.

After wrestling with this gut – wrenching decision to divorce, most parents desperately dread the idea of making the announcement. Some parents make the mistake of allowing the children to find out when one morning the children awake to a catastrophe – Dad and his belongings have disappeared into thin air.

In any case, the children will remember this day for a lifetime and reassess the understanding of it at every stage of their development. Conversation done fully and well will ease the pain and comfort them: conversations done poorly will profoundly add to their confusion, anxiety, and pain.

And this devastating conversation takes place at a time when the parents are angry, hurt, and in torment themselves.

Here are several suggestions.

1.Bring both parents and all the children of appropriate age  together and tell

the children that you have decided to divorce. Do not meet with them one

parent at a time as they need to see the parents together and observe your

body language and hear the inflection of your voice as each parent

contributes to the discussion. Meeting with them alone invites favoritism and

promotes confusion and suspicion.


  1.    Speak slowly and simply.  Remember they will hear what you say, how you

say it, and what you  don’t say.


  1.   Choose a quiet time when you and they can have a lengthy conference

without interruption. Turn off the TV, telephones and computers. Watch out

for the distractions and pressures of pending homework, business telephone

calls, arriving guests, and other disturbances


  1. Make sure that you frame the conversation as a final announcement not a

pending decision.  They will hope and fantasize that you will change your

mind and will continue to do so for some years.


  1. Ask them what they understand about divorce and their friends’

experiences with it. As painful as it may be, encourage them to speak up about

their fears,  anger and concerns: they may have some misconceptions that

you can correct. Some children will be frozen into silence.

Even so, their minds will be running at full speed.

Expect that they may lie about how they feel to comfort you,

especially if you have been crying during the discussion.  They

may also be concerned about having little or no input into the decision making

process. Not paying enough attention to their wishes often leads to a

combination of anger and  powerlessness which can undermine their initiative

later in life and can result in resentment that carries through deep into



6 .Assure them that they did not cause the divorce nor can they fix it. Also that

they are still loved by both parents, that they are the best parts of the

marriage, and that you will continue to take care of them until they are grown,

just as you always would.


7.Schedule a follow up meeting to discuss future plans after everyone has had

a chance to think things over. At that meeting promise to keep them informed

with details of what’s happening currently and events that are coming.


  1. Arrange for a time to take them to the new surroundings. Remember to

repeat some of the information as young minds can’t assimilate information

on one  or two hearings.


Know that this will be one of the worst days of their lives.

Will this plan of intelligently going through a family meeting counteract the effect of this

massive disappointment for the children? No it will not.

But it will go far in reducing the fear, suffering, and loneliness of the crisis.



Divorce Mediator: Getting a Divorce?

divorce mediationDivorce mediation and getting a divorce mediator is one of the best ways to reduce the conflict and the emotional stress caused by getting a divorce. No matter what stage you are in life divorce is not an easy thing to deal with.

Although there are some who are quick to pick up the help of lawyers this is not necessarily the best thing to do most especially if you are still hurting and you are still in an emotional turmoil. Rejection and the loss of a partner is not something easy to deal with, you might think one day that you are already over the pain and have decided to change your life in a more positive light but there will be days when the pain would resurface and you would have to deal with the reality and the unresolved issues.

End the Past and Look to the Future

However one has to realize that in order to be able to make progress, one has to accept the need to end the past and to look into the future.

A divorce mediator would be more knowledgeable regarding the divorce process; you can end up saving more money rather than using a collaborative divorce or by going to court. The divorce mediation process is more careful and thorough; it aims to help couples negotiate directly to resolve any remaining issues in order for you to be able to peacefully end your marriage. The usual divorce mediation is a much shorter process and would end better, compared to steps that make use of court proceedings.

The divorce coaching has enabled so many couples to reach an understanding regarding their finances. Instead of dealing with too much paper work and sudden surprises, get the help of expert divorce mediators instead.

Provide Privacy

The divorce mediation will provide you much needed privacy and would enlighten you on how to best tackle your parenting plans, equitable distribution and spousal and child support if any is required.

End the power struggle with your former partner and find a mature way to settle, the resolutions are easier to achieve if you are open to the mediation process. The sooner you seek the help of mediators the faster you can find your way to your healing process.

Divorce Mediators Keep You Organized

But, you do have to be professional and level headed regarding the divorce in order to be able to finish the tasks that are required of you. The Divorce mediators would help you keep your act organized; they can help you understand the steps that you need to know in order to reduce the chances of getting ripped off by an emotionally angry partner.
By getting a mediator you realize that the time for arguing is over and that you need to get your life back. A mediator can help you to have a logical talk with your previous partner and find a way to an agreement that would be beneficial for the both of you.

Time to set aside the issues that you have in the past, let the divorce mediator help you throughout the toughest times of the negotiation process.

Please feel free to contact us at We have much experience and can give you the help you need at this difficult time in your life.

Divorce Process: Intimidation and Balance of Power

divorce processDuring the divorce process, as a divorce mediator I have noticed certain patterns manifest frequently. One of the patterns is when the husband attempts to intimidate the wife as they exit their former marriage relationship.

Common Background
In many couples the husband has been the primary provider or “breadwinner”.  As a result. it is not unusual for him to develop the opinion that he made the money and therefore it really belongs to him. He then sees himself as “giving his money” to his wife rather than dividing the moneys that rightfully belong to the both of them. He knows that the law does not see it this way but that is the way he feels anyway.
If in addition, he has handled the finances or been the senior partner in terms of leadership and decision making, this adds to his feelings of ownership. He may know more about their finances and almost always thinks he knows more.


If the wife is initiating the divorce or even if the husband is initiating the divorce and has convinced himself that her faults and mistakes justify him in filing, which is almost always the case, the husband may try to punish the wife. He may not even recognize that he is doing so, and it may be very subtle, but she will notice the difference.

One of the common traits of men relates to power. It has only been 200 years since men settled disputes by dueling, and fist fights are still a common event in some male circles. Manipulation of money by husbands is not unusual in divorce.

The Unwritten Marriage Contract

In every marriage there are a number of expectations and unspoken agreements, like who takes out the trash, who mows the yard, who disciplines the children, and who handles the finances. If one of the spouses changes the expectations that have quietly become a contract, the other spouse will become uneasy and squirm not knowing necessarily why they are uncomfortable.

Now, say the wife no longer goes along with the suggestions, ideas, and proposals of the husband. Let’s say for example, that she insists on hiring her own attorney over the objection of the husband. And she disagrees with him over whether and when to sell the house. And she insists on receiving half of his retirement. And she wants primary custody of the children. And she wants the majority of their coveted furniture and memory photographs.

She is rocking his boat and he is not going to like it. The balance of power is shifting and the husband gets real nervous.

Husband Uses Costs to Sucker Wife into Mistakes

One of the mistakes that wives sometimes make during the divorce process is the result of the husband’s constant verbal pressure. The husband says that the cost of lawyers, business evaluation specialists, real estate appraisers, mediation coaches, etc. is way too high and will only take away from what the couple will split.

And besides he already knows how much everything is worth. Trust me is the essence of his rhetoric. She may have been trusting him for 20-30 years and it is difficult for her to change.

In one of my recent divorce mediation cases, the husband told his wife that the husband’s million dollar business was not worth anything without him and therefore should be evaluated at zero. She agreed to that in order to save the $2000 cost of acquiring a business evaluation.

She saved her half of the fee and gave up an asset worth a great deal.

Choosing Your Battleground

If the husband is initiating the divorce process with a new love in the background, which is often the case, he is probably in a hurry to get the divorce finalized. His lover is likely to be pressuring him to get free. So he will be pushing by conversation, e-mail, through his attorney, and any other means he can find.

In these circumstances, where telephone conversations may be unproductive and quarrelsome, we usually recommend that the couple communicate by e-mail. This gives written evidence that reduces the convenient  memory as to what was said and agreed to and reduces the bullying and intimidation which might otherwise take place.

The Role of the Divorce Mediator/ Coach

As a divorce mediator my role in this divorce process includes leveling the playing field. Using mediation in divorce balances the power and minimizes or eliminates bullying and intimidation.

As part of the  mediation divorce process we insure that both spouses have accurate information available to allow them to make intelligent decisions. We do not make decisions for them.

Most of the problems involved in divorcing are human issues, not legal issues. We coach the spouses into a fair divorce settlement agreement that both can live with.

So far our mediation services, Texas Mediation Group, has never failed to reach a full divorce settlement agreement.