How Divorce Affects Children

Common questions are shared among many spouses considering divorce: How will it affect my job? What will change with my living conditions? How will it impact my children? These are all important questions and should be considered before filing for divorce. Although, in some instances divorce may be the only option. However, it is still advised to consider the impact the divorce may create. There are books, counselors, and other trained professionals that devote significant time and resources in an effort to study the effect divorce has on children. However, there are some general effects usually associated with divorce. 

A broken marriage tends to promote stress in a child’s life. In instances where the marriage was never benevolent and the parents were constantly battling, the divorce may actually reduce stress. However, for the most part, the news of a divorce will typically invoke stress on the child. Often times, the child has known nothing other than their mother and father coexisting under the same roof. Fear of the unknown is shared by most humans, and children are no exception. The notion of split custody can be a hard concept for children to accept. 

The manner in which the divorce is conducted may influence how the child responds. Cases of divorce have shown that children involved often display resilience afterward. Some experts would argue the opposite, that children of divorced parents may display disobedience, trouble in school, and depression. Every family is different, however, the way the parents present themselves and communicate during the divorce can lead to less behavioural issues with the child. 

Still, many resilient children of divorce report troubling memories and growing worries concerning divorce. A survey conducted by Robert Emery and Lisa Laumann-Billings revealed that 73% of college students, who were children of divorced parents, believed they wouldn’t be the same had their parents stayed together. Although the divorce may create painful memories within the children, grief is not akin to psychological behavioural issues. Just because a child is saddened by the separation, it does not mean they will be dysfunctional adults.

The custodial arrangement is another contributing factor to how the parent-child relationship may transform. There are attorneys who are trained to help negotiate a custody deal best suited for the child. 

Although divorce may not be an ideal scenario for the children, it still may be the necessary route to pursue. Studies have shown that children of divorced parents can grow to be successful, functioning adults. If you are considering separating from your spouse, speak with a divorce lawyer. The attorney should be familiar with your local laws and may provide resources to aid in the benevolent divorce process.