Breaking the news about your divorce to your children requires a delicate, complex conversation. You need to plan it out in advance. Things like where you have the conversation, how the kids are feeling and whether the whole family is together are very important.

It’s also wise to anticipate their questions and try to work out some answers in advance. Being able to give them these answers on the spot can help to curb their nervousness and even fear. It gives them a better sense of stability, and they can prepare themselves for the changes in their lives.

With that in mind, here are some questions that kids tend to ask:

  • Why are you getting divorced?
  • Is it my fault in some way?
  • Where am I going to live?
  • Will I still get to see both of you?
  • Will I have to move and find new friends?
  • Will I need to go to a new school?
  • Where are my brothers and sisters going to live?
  • Do we have to find a new home?
  • Will I live in two houses, one with Mom and one with Dad?
  • How do I tell my friends about this?
  • Are you mad at me?
  • Are you mad at each other?
  • Are you sure you’re going to get divorced?
  • How soon is it going to happen?
  • Do you still love me?

Some of these answers feel obvious to you as a parent — of course you still love your children as much as ever — but you still need to answer quickly and confidently to reassure them. Keep this in mind while looking into your child custody options and getting the divorce started.