Divorce: Supporting Older Teens
My spouse and I are planning to separate and eventually divorce and we need to tell our older teens. The separation planning has been painful but mostly amicable (so far). Co-parenting well is our North Star. We plan to tell the kids together early this summer, so they have time to process before going back to school. It will be a big shock for them. Any advice on how to help them through the initial months, first year or two? Also we are thinking about keeping the house in joint custody for a year or so after divorce to allow housing stability for the kids. We understand the tax/financial implications of this, so mostly would love to hear stories of what helped your teens emotionally and what didn’t. Thanks so much!
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I applaud you for trying to do divorce well! An amicable divorce where both parties can remain civil afterward is the gold standard. My parents divorced when I was 20, and it was very acrimonious. It's been almost 40 years, and my mother's bitterness and refusal to get along after my dad remarried still affects us kids as adults. I know families where exes are included in family gatherings and everyone gets along. This makes it easier on everyone. Both of you being there for your kids and not taking sides will go a long way in helping your teens adjust. Stay positive as much as you can!