If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, it’s that financial struggles affect the whole family. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you may worry about how to talk to your children about it.

Many parents are frightened about discussing bankruptcy with their kids because they don’t want to be viewed as failures. But filing for bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of. If you think about it, you’re actually setting a very good example for them. Confronting your debt head-on shows your children that they — like you — have agency in dealing with challenging situations. You’re turning a setback into an empowering learning opportunity.

I’m not only a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I’m also a father.

I’m a father myself, and I know family conversations about money are sometimes easier said than done. Below are a few tips on how you can talk about bankruptcy with your children and loved ones.

Keep the conversation simple.

When families navigate bankruptcy together, children can learn valuable lessons about resilience and redemption that they will carry into the future. When starting the conversation with your kids, I suggest putting it in the simplest terms possible. Acknowledge that, yes, we have a problem to deal with. But we also have a plan. And we’re working toward a solution together. Challenges are a part of life – debt or no debt.

It can also be helpful to highlight that you’re asking for help from people who are experts, like bankruptcy lawyers who help families like yours handle these situations all the time. Knowing there is extra help on the way can be a comfort to children who don’t fully understand the situation.

Focus on the positive.

A lot of kids’ only association with bankruptcy is from Monopoly or the movies. Young children especially can think bankruptcy means losing everything. Reassure them that you will still keep your home, and that you will be able to feed, clothe, and take care of them. Bankruptcy doesn’t have to mean losing a sense of safety.

Discuss the morality of it.

A common misconception about people who file for bankruptcy is that they’re financially irresponsible. If you’re worried your kids will think bankruptcy is wrong or immoral, impress upon them that it’s not. In fact, it’s a legal process that was created specifically to protect individuals and keep the economy vibrant. From founding fathers to millionaires, all types of people have filed for bankruptcy. 

Talk about the importance of forgiveness.

You might be interested to know that bankruptcy has its origins in the belief that a person’s debts should be forgiven every seven years. If you’re religious and would like to bring this element into the conversation with your kids as well, you can download a free copy of my booklet What the Bible Says About Debt.

Whether you’re religious or not, forgiveness is a wonderful lesson to share with your children. The U.S. court system believes that debtors should have the opportunity to have their debts forgiven when necessary. It’s why bankruptcy exists.

Get help from a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer you can trust.

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you need a bankruptcy lawyer you can trust. My team of compassionate and effective lawyers has helped thousands of families get out of debt and give their children the future they deserve. We can help you achieve the clean financial slate you need to make dreams like a home, or an education for your kids, come true. It might sound impossible now, but I assure you, it’s well within your reach.

If you want to know more about bankruptcy, or are ready to file, we’re here to help. Call 901-327-2100 or contact us online to start the conversation. The consultation is absolutely FREE.