If you are thinking about getting a divorce, chances are you have thought the decision through and through and have already obtained a divorce lawyer. However, as hard as it may be to leave your spouse, the entire process can be even harder on your children.

Children can be seriously affected when their parents split up. Between new child custody arrangements and the sheer difference in their day-to-day lives, they can lash out in anger or even internalize their pain and believe they did something wrong to cause the divorce. Regardless of why you have decided to end your marriage, it is crucial to be gentle and straight forward when telling your kids so they are reassured that the divorce is not their fault.

The best thing to do is for both parents to tell their children together. It is going to be hard enough for the children to adjust to living apart, so working together and telling your children it was a mutual decision will help make the situation more comfortable. It may also be a good idea to talk to a family therapist about how best to approach the situation.

When you decide to tell the kids, make sure they don’t have anything important going on the next day. Finding out your parents are getting a divorce can affect performance in school, so avoid telling kids around important test dates. Also, reassure the child that the divorce was not their fault and try to keep things as similar to regular home life as possible. Tell the child that you will still spend a lot of time with them and that they can always come to you for anything.

While it is never easy for a child to deal with divorce, keeping their feelings in mind will always ensure that they do not feel left out or guilty.