How to Explain Custody to Your Child?


Getting a divorce is indeed an emotional and challenging process for both parents and children. The upheaval of divorce and other custody arrangements takes the matter to a new level. In such cases, explaining the reason for separation and the concept of custody to your child becomes difficult.

While many studies suggest that divorce can affect a child’s psychological development, with proper communication and care, you can make your child understand the need for custody and how it will not hamper his love for both parents.

Discuss With Your Ex-Partner Before Speaking to Your Child

Before you speak to your child about custody, talk to your ex-partner and discuss how you would proceed with things with your child. Plus, it’s better if both parents talk to their child together. Make sure you have a detailed discussion with your partner about explaining the whole situation calmly and maturely.

Because the way your child will process things will have a significant impact on his mental development. You can also get in touch with an Edmonton family lawyer who specializes in custody cases, as they might make your children understand the whole scenario much better. Plus, a lawyer will also help you get a fair settlement deal related to your custody.

Explain the Changes After Custody

Talking to your child about custody would also include explaining to them all the changes that would be common once a parent gets custody. Ensure that you start the process by taking small and manageable steps, as it might be hard for your kids to process so much information at once. Go on by assuring them how much you love them and how it is that one thing that will never change no matter what. Here are some of the changes that you should make aware your child about:

  • Tell them that you’re in joint custody, where the parents will formulate a parenting plan considering the child’s needs along with the parents’ schedule and housing arrangements.
  • Tell them that they won’t be able to spend the ‘we time’ with both parents together. They will have to share their time with their mother and father differently.
  • Tell them that both the parents will share the child’s responsibilities, including schooling, extracurricular activities, daycare, etc.
  • Tell them they will have to cooperate with all the changes to respect their parents’ decision and handle the situation well.

Give them Emotional Security.

This is very important. No matter how easy or complex your equation is with your ex-partner, ensure your children don’t suffer from your personal hassles. Give them the emotional security that they will never separate as a family. Let them know that they will be loved by both the parents, and the custody decision will not restrict your children from spending time with one of the parents.

If you take care of these things, things will soon become normal for your kids, and they will eventually understand and respect your decision. The key is to proceed with care and love, and things will be better!

Malissa Carter
We are so blessed to have her majesty, a.k.a the queen of 4 the love of mommy “Malissa.” She was born in 1962. Got married to Murphy in 1983. She is an expert mom with the experience of almost 40 years of motherhood.