You have had some time to wrap your head around the idea that your marriage is ending. You saw it coming. When your spouse finally filed for divorce, it didn’t surprise you. If anything, you thought that it wouldn’t take as long as it did.

Your kids, however, have been kept in the dark. You did not want to tell them until you were absolutely sure. Now that you are, you have to gear up for a potentially difficult conversation. How should you approach it?

The biggest thing to stress is that you love the kids. Your spouse loves the kids. They may have to move into two separate homes or move back and forth, but they’ll be loved in both places and by both parents. That is never going to change.

You may be thinking: “My kids know I love them.” That’s great, but tell them anyway. This is a delicate time for children. They really need that reassurance. They may need it over and over again. They do not know how to feel, they worry that they caused the divorce, and they start to question what they understand.

Give them one less thing to question. Be open and honest. Talk to all of the children at the same time. Do it with your spouse and don’t blame each other or fight in front of them. And, through it all, keep telling them how much they mean to you and how their best interests are going to come first.

After you do this, find out what legal steps to take during your divorce in order to move forward and work toward that ideal future for yourself and your kids.