It's no secret that it is beneficial for children to have both parents in their lives. This is why the Jefferson County Court prefers to share parental responsibilities and parenting time in Child Custody cases - because it is generally in the best interest of the child. Unfortunately, there are situations where one parent is absent from their child's life for a significant amount of time. Sometimes, it's because of bad choices (i.e. criminal behavior, drug use, etc.) and sometimes it's because of parental alienation and bad mouthing that made you back off from spending time with your kids. Regardless of the reasons why, it is possible to connect with your kids again and re-establish your child custody agreement and parenting time.
While there is not exact science or formula you can use to predict exactly how your children will react when you tell them that you and your spouse have chosen to separate or get a divorce, you will want to be extra sensitive to how they are feeling. Children will experience a gamut of emotions, just like you will, and they will deal with these emotions in their own way. Some may want to talk through everything, while others seem to retreat and don't want to discuss it. However your children react, the most important thing you can do is be there for them in whatever way they need you.