When parents have reached the decision to tell their child they are getting divorced or separated, Dr. Bingham Newman offers this candid advice.

“You have to keep that door or window open,” she said. “You have to communicate with kids! And if you haven’t been up till then, you’d better start.”

Sign up for our newsletter today and get exclusive coParenting content.

Newman provided a list for divorcing parents to help them in this endeavor. Among its suggestions:

  1. Tell your child as soon as a definite decision is reached.
  2. Make sure all family members (including both parents) are present.
  3. Plan ahead about exactly when and what you are going to say.
  4. Be honest and straightforward.
  5. Give a simple reason for the divorce.
  6. Don’t assess blame.
  7. Emphasize that your child did not cause the divorce.
  8. Emphasize that both parents will continue to love and care for the child.
  9. Emphasize that your child is still part of a family.
  10. Describe things that will stay the same.
  11. Describe changes that will occur.
  12. If your child is older, outline steps that have been taken to save the marriage.
  13. Acknowledge your child’s feelings.
  14. Encourage questions.
  15. Repeat the information on more than one occasion.

Excerpt from The House Matters in Divorce by Laurel Starks, Unhooked Books.


About Laurel Starks

Laurel Starks is a divorce real estate specialist. Trained in both mediation and collaborative divorce methods, she speaks frequently on real estate and divorce issues to legal and alternative disputes resolution groups.

A former host of the talk radio program Real Estate Matters, Starks also serves as an expert witness in real estate matters related to divorce cases, including the mishandling of procedural aspects therein. She handles the sale of real property in family law cases, and is one of the top producing realtors in the nation. She was nominated in 2016 for the coveted Innovator of the Year by Inman News, the real estate industry’s leading news source. Laurel lives with her husband and two sons in Southern California.

Starks is the author of The House Matters in Divorce: Untangling the Legal, Financial and Emotional Ties Before You Sign on the Dotted Line, published by Unhooked Books.

From “The House Matters In Divorce,” by Laurel Starks. View this book at this link: