If someone has accused you of domestic violence, you already know that it can be life-shattering. Whether you’ve been charged with domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery, or your spouse (or ex-spouse) has taken out an order of protection against you, it can be extremely tough to explain the situation to your children.
How to Explain a Domestic Violence Accusation to Your Children
In some cases, an order of protection will stop you from seeing or contacting your children. If that happens in your case, your lawyer can file the appropriate petitions to ask the judge to change the order and allow you to spend time with your kids. (Remember, though, there’s never any guarantee about which way a judge will rule.)
If you’re still allowed to spend time with your children, they may have questions about what happened between you and your spouse—and if you’re like most parents, you don’t have a perfect answer that explains everything.
So what should you say to your children if they ask you about your domestic violence charges or accusations?
Psychologists suggest explaining things in an age-appropriate way, but that’s not as easy as it sounds.
The best rule of thumb to follow is to tell them as little as possible while remaining honest and open to questions. No matter what, spare them the sordid details.
Small children don’t need any in-depth explanations. You can focus on telling them how their circumstances are changing, such as saying that you’ll be spending time with them at a relative’s house or something of that nature.
Elementary-aged children and many middle-schoolers can understand more than smaller kids can, which means they’ll have more questions. You can answer their questions, but it’s a good idea to give honest, basic answers rather than in-depth explanations.
Regardless of your children’s ages, experts say that you should always avoid:
- Speaking negatively about their other parent
- Using your children as messengers between you and their other parent
- Discussing the actual domestic violence situation and sharing details
- Blaming your kids’ other parent for what happened
Do You Need Help With Domestic Violence Allegations?
If your spouse or someone else has accused you of domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery, it’s probably in your best interest to talk to a Chicago domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Call us at 847-920-4540 for your free domestic battery case evaluation right away. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can begin building a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome in your case.