Family law in British Columbia: Breaking divorce news to children

On behalf of Peterson Stark Scott posted in Family Law on September 12, 2017.

Children — even adult children — usually have a difficult time with the revelation that their parents are splitting up. There are provisions under the family law umbrella in British Columbia that give separating parents the tools to broach the subject with their families. As with most things in life, honesty seems to be the best policy.

How this discussion goes may set the tone for children in the rest of the divorce process, so it is extremely important to plan what words will be used beforehand. Not only the couple’s lives will be changed, but their children’s lives as well. Approaching the reality with kids in the most positive way possible and with the least amount of conflict should be top priority.

Children, including many who are grown and who have left the family home, look to their parents for guidance. So having them see that both their parents have given the situation a great deal of thought may make things go much more smoothly. If the relationship between partners has been fraught with tension, children may not be too surprised at the news.

Couples who have not openly disagreed with each other or who have kept animosity at bay, may, ironically, have a more difficult time explaining the situation to family members. But whatever the situation, children will usually always find it hard to process that their parents are divorcing. Such a situation might do well by having a family mediator.

A compassionate British Columbia lawyer seasoned in family law would be able to offer suggestions on these types of issues. Such a lawyer will not only be able to provide such guidance to his or her clients, but also provide information regarding the welfare of clients’ children. An attorney may be able to provide names of family counsellors and therapists who can help to make the transition less stressful for all concerned.

Source:, “Telling the Children“, Sept. 1, 2017

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