How to tell your kids you are dating after divorce

"We didn't talk to Mikaela until the week before he moved out, and I think that was the best choice," she says.

"Since she only knew for a short time, she didn't have to worry about it and mull it over."Though there's never a "good" time, there are bad times: school days, right before you head off to work, just as your child is going to dance class or soccer practice, or just before bed.

But children will take this as a betrayal — or worse, criticism of them.

Yet school-age kids can be surprisingly resilient and able to adapt.

Also, if your child has witnessed a lot of arguments, acknowledge that fact and explain that you're trying to do what's best for the family.

Susanna Cox recalls putting it this way: "You know Mommy and Daddy have been arguing a lot lately, and we always seem to be in a grumpy mood with each other.

"When he hears the news and is suddenly feeling very unsafe and very alone, he'll need you to be there for him," says Wolf.

Choose a moment when you'll be together afterward to offer plenty of hugs and reassurances. Even if you disagree about everything else, try to agree on what to tell your child, for his sake. Telling your child together avoids confusion — he'll hear only one version of the story — and conveys that it was a mutual decision.

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