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Discussing divorce with children may require preparation

When giving advice on divorce, many sources discuss the importance of the parties making individual preparations before announcing their intentions in order to make sure they receive everything to which they are entitled in the settlement. However, for Utah couples who have children, a more coordinated effort may be needed before announcing the divorce. Presenting a united front can help the children feel more comfortable with the changes that are undoubtedly going to take place.

Anticipating the questions that the children will ask might prompt the parents to have discussions regarding the answers to them. Most children wonder where they are going to live and whether they will have access to both parents. Most Utah parents want to do their best to keep the children's lives as normal as possible. Making that happen can take a great deal of planning.

Discussing child custody arrangements prior to telling the children about the divorce can lay the groundwork for a parenting plan. As part of the divorce, it will be necessary for these issues to be decided and documented, and getting a head start on that process could be useful. Parents are often encouraged to come to their own agreement without the court's intervention so that it can be tailored to the particular needs of the family.

Once the children are made aware of the divorce and the proceedings commence, the parents may discover that the more challenging aspects of settlement negotiations have already been handled. The agreement might be easily finalized and presented for the court's approval. Focusing on the children from the beginning might help outline the parties' post-divorce relationship as parents. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "How Do You Tell Your Children That You Are Getting a Divorce?", Jim Halfens, June 26, 2015

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