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Divorce and the best time to let children know

Summer is the season for swimming, camping and other outdoor-related activities. However, according to statistics, summer is also a popular time to seek a divorce. Parents have expressed the opinion that this is the season when children may be able to best cope with the impeding separation. Georgia families may benefit from some guidelines concerning when their children should be told.

Every family is different, and therefore, the effect that a divorce may have on the family members is also a unique and individual experience. Parents may wonder when to tell their youngsters that a divorce is in the works. Additionally, some may wonder if the age of their children should have a bearing on when the children should be told. In fact, there does seem to be a general guideline as to when children of each age can handle the news.

Children ages five and younger may be best told only a few days ahead of the parents’ separation. Older school-age children may handle a week’s notice best. That amount of time allows them to process the information and how it may impact them. Older children, such as teens, may already be aware of the changes, but regardless, a 14-day heads-up may be the best timeframe without giving them undue time to reflect.

Most parents do not make the decision to seek a divorce lightly. Understandably, they are likely concerned about the effect that such a decision will have on their entire family. Children are completely reliant on their parents to teach them lessons of trust and love, and as such, their best interest must be considered when important decisions are undertaken. Georgia families do have resources available that can provide guidance and information concerning the settling of all the important issues involved in this serious life change.

Source:, “When to tell children about divorce“, Gail Saukas, July 4, 2014