Doncaster Office
Sheffield Office

Top Ten Tips for Discussing Separation with Children

14 February 2022

Sharon McKie

Father and Son

We would always recommend telling children that their parents are separating. Typically, due to their age, they don’t need to know the reasons why the separation is occurring. It is always best practice to keep it simple and keep it centred on the basics. Try to keep all discussions on a future-focussed basis, therefore explaining & describing the potential arrangements for future parenting and ensure you reassure them that both parents still love them.


Separations which involve children are not easy for either parent or child, that’s why we would always recommend seeking professional advice on the best way to proceed. Here are 10 tips we suggest you take into careful consideration when going through a separation which involves children.

  1. Take time out to speak to the children – what do you want them to remember from this process?
  2. Keep the lines of communication open at all times
  3. Create a safe space for the child to be heard
  4. Recognise and explain that you cannot always action what the children want but it is important to hear them
  5. Plan carefully how, when and where to speak to the children about separation
  6. While still living in the same house, ensure that children understand that you are not reconciling.
  7. Children need to know that they can ask questions at any time and to both parents
  8. Explain to the children what will stay the same such as their school, activities and seeing family.
  9. Speak to the children together but where they are different ages, speak to them again to ensure they have understood
  10. The children are not your friends so do not over-share with them


For any further legal advice contact our Family Team today on 01302 341 414.