Kids and Divorce – What NOT to Do

Divorce is difficult enough when there are no minor children involved. When there are minor children, it tends to make the entire process more complicated – and often more contentious. If you are contemplating divorce or have already established that divorce is in your future, deciding how to tell the kids and how to navigate the divorce process with your children is crucial. Fort Worth custody lawyer Jon Boyd offers some tips on what not to do when your divorce involves children.

Breaking the News to the Children

Once the decision has been made to move forward with a divorce, the children need to be told. Exactly how you go about telling them, and precisely what you tell them, will depend to a large extent on the age of the children. A conversation with a 15-year-old about divorce will not be the same as one with a five-year-old. Nevertheless, planning ahead is key. Ideally, you and your spouse should tell the children together as it will go a long way toward reassuring them that both parents will remain in their lives. When possible, consulting with an expert, such as a child psychologist, beforehand is a good idea. 

Consider how each child is likely to react and be prepared to answer difficult questions. One of the most common questions/concerns centers around the living arrangements. Whenever possible, reach at least a temporary arrangement with your spouse regarding who will remain in the marital residence and where the children will live while the divorce is pending so that when they ask, you have an answer for them. Also be prepared to reassure them that they will still spend time with the other parent, assuming that is the truth.

5 Mistakes to Avoid During the Divorce Process

Once the children know about the divorce, and the process is underway, you will need to navigate the world of kids and divorce. To limit the emotional trauma children often go through when parents divorce, avoid making the following five mistakes:

  • Making negative comments about your spouse. No matter how hurt or angry you are, do not speak disrespectfully about your children’s other parent. Doing so can make a child feel confused, angry, or even guilty for loving the other parent. It can also make you look bad in the eyes of the court if your divorce is contested.
  • Asking your children to choose a parent. If your children are older, a court will consider their wishes when making custody decisions; however, that does not mean you should pressure, or even ask, your children to choose one parent over the other.
  • Arguing around the children. Even the most amicable divorce can hit rough patches along the way. If your divorce is contentious from the start, it will be a bumpy ride throughout the process. Do not allow your children to hear you argue with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Your children are probably already struggling to manage their own emotions relating to the divorce. They do not need to worry about yours as well nor do they need to be in the middle of the animosity surrounding the end of your marriage.
  • Telling your children too much. Your children may ask why you are getting a divorce; however, that does not mean you need to share adult information with them. For example, if infidelity or addiction led to the divorce, your children do not need to know those details. 
  • Using your children to gather or disseminate information.  It may be tempting to ask your child how your ex is handling the divorce or whether he/she is dating. Resist that temptation as it puts your child in an impossible situation. By the same token, do not ask your child to relay messages or information to your ex. If you want your ex to know something, communicate it yourself.

Contact a Fort Worth Custody Lawyer

If you have additional questions about divorce, contact an experienced Fort Worth Custody Lawyer at Boyd Family Law to discuss your legal rights and options by calling 817-338-4500 to schedule your appointment today. 

Contact Us

Call Us Today!

(817) 338-4500

Family Law

Client Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Joey and I just want to tell you how thankful we are and what an awesome job you did today! You really are a rockstar and I’ll be referring anyone I know that needs a family lawyer to you! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!

T.S. and J.H.

Knowledgeable, respectful and great!

Renee Moore

Jon, once again – Great job! I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for your overall knowledge of the law and your impressive trial skills. Simply outstanding! It may have been just another day at the office for you, but you’ve made a huge positive impact on my life and more importantly on my son’s life. Thanks again.


My experience as Jon’s client was stellar and I can’t imagine having gone through everything the last few years without him going to bat for me. My case was a high conflict child custody modification. Jon is incredibly knowledgeable and he expertly applied this knowledge to my case. He has a very confident, commanding presence in the courtroom and his loyalty to the success of me and my case was clear in his actions. Our outcome was better than I expected and I am happy with the results. He and his staff are diligent, skilled and worth every cent. If you need assertive, sharp, highly skilled representation, then I absolutely recommend Jon.


A most genuine ‘Thank You’ from me and my family. (I am) very fortunate that I found you in 2006 to represent me in battling The Devil in Divorce-Custody #1. It’s no secret that I hold you in high regard and probably place unfair expectations on your back to carry into battle with me. Just know that there is no one I trust more than you when it comes to guiding/representing/fighting for me and my family. You earned my respect and trust nine years ago now. I already know the quality of man I walk into the courtroom with. And that provides me a level of confidence which cannot be replaced. I’m loyal to a fault, my friend. The quality of your work and your office staff’s support and responsiveness have all been top notch in dealing with me and my family’s legal issues