Questions Kids Ask Parents About Separation or Divorce

The word “divorce” can be one of scariest words that a child will ever hear. Even if it is obvious to the child that the situation at home is not going well, kids never really want to think of a future without their mother and father living in the same house. It evokes feelings of stress, sadness, and confusion.

To make this process as positive as possible, you need to establish open communication.  This is key because it opens the door for kids to express their feelings and ask questions. If they know that you welcome their questions and feedback, it will definitely alleviate their stress and worry, as compared to having to keep everything to themselves and wonder what the future holds. Also, ensure that they understand that it is normal for them to have an emotional response to the divorce.

Kids should also be encouraged to voice their concerns to people close to them that they can trust, aside from parents, which may include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. It is also a good idea to make sure that they know that they are not the only ones going through this. You likely have other relatives or family friends who have gone through separation or divorce, which you could use as examples that may help them relate.

When you and your spouse decide to separate or divorce, you should expect your child to ask these types of questions:

  • Why are you getting divorced?
  • Was this my fault?
  • Do I still have a family?
  • Will my parents both love me after the divorce?
  • How often will I see my mom/dad?
  • Who will I (and my siblings) live with?
  • Are we going to move?
  • Will I always feel this bad?
  • How long is the divorce going to take?
  • Are you going to get remarried?

The more confidence you have in your answers, the more at ease your child will feel. This is why it is very important to be prepared with what you are going to say prior to telling them about the separation or divorce. The goal is to avoid as much uncertainty as possible.

After your initial discussion, ensure that you check in with your child ongoing to see how they are feeling, if they have any questions, and to ensure that their school work is not suffering from the stress of the situation. Also, remember that divorce is between the adults, not the children. You should never speak ill of the other parent in front of the children. It almost always leads to the children feeling the stress of the situation and taking the blame for it.

It is crucial to make your child feel as though their thoughts and feelings are important and that their voice counts!

An excellent Canadian publication “What happens next?” provides useful information for children about what to expect from their parents’ separation or divorce.

In Collaborative Divorce, the goal is to reduce the negative effects of your separation or divorce on your children as much as possible. Call Rahul for a FREE 20-minute consultation to discuss why this would be a smart choice for the well-being of your family.



10 Reasons to Choose Mediation for Separation or Divorce

A family law mediator acts as a neutral party to help couples transition out of relationships in a healthy and peaceful way, without the stress of going to court. Experienced mediators help both parties see the viewpoint of the other, with the goal to reach an agreement that is best for everyone involved.

There are a number of factors that affect mediation for separation or divorce, including the complexity of the issues, whether children are involved, and the extent to which both spouses are motivated to seek a resolution. Mediators help couples resolve disputes regarding parenting time, child support, spousal support, the division of family property, etc.

In addition to keeping the situation fair and neutral, there are many benefits to hiring a mediator:

(1) Save time and avoid court delays – Compared to other forms of dispute resolution, mediation is very time effective. People are often surprised at how quickly a dispute can be resolved through hiring a skilled mediator. Court proceedings, for example, can potentially take years to conclude because the focus is on each spouse trying to prove their case (in terms of facts, fault, liability) to a judge. Mediation, on the other hand, is solely focused on settlement. Parties communicate directly with or without their lawyers. Plus, a qualified mediator is trained to resolve disputes quickly by keeping the parties focused and on track to expedite closure.

(2) Save money – Mediation is much more cost effective than a lawsuit. Mediation is handled out of court, so it bypasses the long and expensive court process. In mediation, there is only one mediator (one full-time professional) as opposed to two full-time lawyers trying to help the parties resolve their issues. Parties do not need to have full-time lawyers representing them throughout the process unless they want their lawyer(s) present at mediation. If the parties choose to attend mediation without their lawyers (which most people do), the mediator can help the parties resolve all their disputes, and the parties can then get independent legal advice from a lawyer of their choice.

(3) Protect assets – Mediation helps couples decide together what will happen to the family home, money, savings / investments, taxes, debts, etc. vs. having this dictated by a judge.

(4) Keep it confidential – Mediation happens in private. Unlike a public courtroom, no one usually sits in your mediation session except you or your lawyer. Information disclosed during mediation will not be revealed to anyone with very few exceptions. What happens in mediation is generally not admissible in court.

(5) Mediation improves communication and cooperation – As with all relationships, communication is key. With mediation, parties are more likely to openly discuss their views on the underlying dispute(s), which leads to mutually beneficial resolutions.

(6) Preserve relationships – In most cases, courts and litigation tends to bring out the worst in people, with both parties pointing fingers as to who did what. With mediation, there is a common goal of reaching an agreement vs. placing blame.

(7) Better flexibility for meeting times – As compared to litigation in court, both parties can agree on times to meet that won’t interfere with their work and other obligations.

(8) Better flexibility for parenting time – Parenting time can be agreed upon to best accommodate the schedules of both parties vs. having this decided upon in court.

(9) Less stress – When both parties have the goal of working together towards an amicable solution, there is less stress; you are in control over the outcome. Matters are discussed in a non-confrontation setting vs. arguing in a courtroom in an adversarial process. Also, knowing that your separation or divorce will be kept private also alleviates anxiety.

(10) Final say – Both parties have the final say as to what will happen – not a judge.

Should mediation happen to be unsuccessful, there is still an option to go to court.

To speak with a qualified mediator in Vancouver or New Westminster, call Rahul at Clean Divorce. He will be able to answer all of your questions regarding your options, rights, and how you can best protect yourself and your family when it comes to separating or divorce.