Hiring a Family Law Attorney When Adopting a Child

The New Normal After A Divorce: How To Discuss Child Support With Your Kids

by Jamie Nichols

Going through a divorce is inevitably going to be difficult on all members of the family, and kids are usually a bit more in-the-know than their parents think they are. Because children can be very curious about things that aren't explained clearly to them as they adjust to having two divorced parents, they may guess at things and assume the worst. To help prevent your kids making false assumptions about the situation between you and your ex, try to be as forthcoming as you can while protecting them from the drama of the situation. Here's how to discuss child support with curious young minds.

Time the Conversation Well

Children are likely to get a little curious about the family's change in homes or finances if you have to move in the aftermath of a divorce. When children start to consider money and ask about it, that is a good time to reassure them that they will be taken care of throughout this time period. You may then explain that child support helps ensure that their needs are met. Children who know this from an early age won't think anything of it when the topic inevitably comes up as they are growing up. 

Be Positive When Discussing Child Support

Frame the conversation about child support around the love that both parents have for them. If you resent being ordered to pay more child support than you think is necessary, never let that show in front of your kids. Explain it as something that you want to do because it helps you understand that all their needs are met. Point out the ways that it helps your children to thrive.

Leave the Court Talk Out Of It

A child doesn't need to hear that the parent who is paying child support is required to do so by divorce laws and the decisions of a judge. When explaining child support, it's important for both parents to focus on the love they both have for the child and talk about child support in terms of how it helps both fulfill their caregiving roles.

Finally, keep in mind that your children may not be happy with all of the answers that you provide. They may be looking for signs that you and your ex are going to get back together, or they may be simply seeking more idealized answers. In the long run, it's in the best interests of the kids to be honest with them while also considering what's age-appropriate and okay for them to handle.