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The divorce process is a whirlwind of emotions for you and your children. You’re looking forward to the future, but you can’t get ahead of yourself. Doing so will cause you to overlook important details, such as appropriately preparing your children for their new life.

Your children will have many questions about your divorce, all of which you should answer in a clear, concise and timely manner. Here are five that you should expect:

  • Why is this happening? This is a difficult question to answer, as you may not want to share too many details with your children. Stick to the basics and let your children know that divorce is what’s best for you, their other parent and them.
  • Where will everyone live? Depending on the age of your children, they may have a difficult time comprehending that living arrangements will change. You may not know the answer to this question before the divorce process, so explain in the simplest terms possible that they’ll now have two homes.
  • Will you make up in the future? Without understanding the details of your divorce, your children may assume that you’ll get back together with your spouse in the future. It’s possible this could happen, but don’t give them false hope.
  • What happens next? The divorce timeline can vary based on a variety of factors. Share as much as you know with your children and keep them up to date as you learn more.
  • Was it my fault? Younger children in particular may assume that your divorce has something to do with them. This is particularly true if they’ve heard you arguing about them in the past. It’s critical that you clear the air by letting your children know that they didn’t do anything wrong. Letting them think they did can have an emotional impact on them for the rest of their life.

While you should expect these questions from your children after telling them about your divorce, don’t be surprised if others come to light.

Once you feel better about where things stand with your children, it’s easier to turn your full attention to the divorce process and protecting your legal rights.