Dad-proof tips: Talking to your child about your divorce/separation

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Making the decision to separate/divorce from your partner can be one of life’s hardest decisions, both personally and for your children.

If you and your partner have come to the conclusion that it’s best to part ways, remind yourself that although it may be difficult at first, it ultimately offers more positive long-term outcomes for everyone.

Knowing how to best approach the topic with your children is important but isn’t always easy. They will no doubt have many questions and might be confused at first.

But what’s important is to remind them you will always be their dad, you will always be there for them, and nothing will ever change that.

Top tips to talk about separation/divorce with your children 

  • If you can, plan what you are both going to say  beforehand as a couple
  • Start by saying how much you both love your child/children
  • Explain that you will no longer be living together
  • Explain that, while you can no longer live together as husband and wife or life partners, you will always be their parents
  • With older children, talking generally about love and marriage can help them appreciate that relationships can be complicated and sometimes don’t work out, but that you both want to make things as easy as possible for everyone
  • Avoid blame and present a united front that focusses entirely on your child/children
  • Be prepared for possible questions and have solutions for the future arrangements already thought out.

These are just a few suggestions to try. If you require help or further support, it is always available. We encourage you to reach out to your mates, a loved one, or if you require more intensive support contact your GP.

You can also contact: 

Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit https://www.lifeline.org.au

Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or https://www.beyondblue.org.au

Mensline on 1300 78 99 78 or https://mensline.org.au

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