You and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, but the children do not know yet. You know this is going to be a huge event that is out of their control, and, in many ways, changes their lives. How do you start a conversation with that type of news?

Below are a few tips that may help.

Never Do It Too Soon

Never tell children simply about discussions you've had or things you've considered. You must be 100 percent sure that you are going to get divorced before you tell them.

Write Down What You Want to Say

This can be an emotional conversation. In your mind, you may have plenty of things you want to say and need to say, all of which you forget when the moment comes. By writing them down in advance, you give yourself a convenient reminder so that the children really get all of the important information they need.

Give Yourself Enough Time

This isn't the type of news you just drop on them during dinner one day. Make a plan. Make a schedule. Ensure that you have at least 60 minutes set aside for the conversation. The last thing you want to do is cut things short when the children still have questions or just want to talk about the future.

Come at It From Their Perspective

Address things that are important to the children. For example, whether or not they stay in the same school may seem like a minor detail to you. There are plenty of good schools. But that could be one of the most important details of all to children who value their peer groups and routines.

Getting Started

After you talk to the children about divorce and it's time to get the process started, make sure you know about all of the legal steps you need to take.