How Can a Divorce Impact Children?
A divorce can derail a family’s livelihood in immeasurable ways. Both spouses can suffer emotionally, financially, mentally and professionally. But their children can suffer the same outcomes, if not more.
Although divorce is most people’s last resort option, it should be carefully considered in regard to its impact on children. Many couples stay together for the sake of their kids, but our Westchester County divorce lawyers aren’t advising you to do that (although, it is entirely your decision to do so). Instead, we encourage divorcing couples to think about the impacts of their decision on their children to best prepare for the next chapter in their post-divorce lives.
Children can suffer a host of problems following their parents’ divorce, including the following five:
- Mental health issues: Anxiety, depression, anger issues may result from a divorce and can follow children for months and even years. If a divorce resulted from extreme discrepancies such as domestic violence, children may even suffer PTSD.
- Risky behaviors: Children with divorced parents may participate in risk-taking behaviors such as underage drinking, drug abuse, early sexual activity and committing crimes.
- Poor grades: Children may be forced to adapt to a new living situation such as moving away from home, adjusting to joint custody, going to a new school, meeting new friends and teachers, and focusing on school when there are bigger issues on their plate. As a result, they may spend less time on homework and engage less with their classmates, friends, teachers and schoolwork. Academics may be the last thing on their mind while children are dealing with their parents’ divorce.
- Emotional issues: Children may have weakened relationships with their parents because they get to spend less time with each one. Separation anxiety may result from this dynamic, which carries episodes of crying, whining, tantrums, bed-wetting and clinging. Further children may suffer sadness, loss, confusion and guilt, for example, as a result of their parents’ divorce.
- Economic disadvantages: Children are used to living in a joint-income household, but a divorce can dramatically change the financial stability of both parents. Parents who have joint physical custody of their children may have two different post-divorce lifestyles. The parent who earned less income may suffer financially as they learn to support themselves, meaning their children will suffer, too. The “breadwinner” parent may have fewer financial issues and support the same lifestyle they had before the divorce, but the bottom line is that both exes are single parents whose children will experience two separate lifestyles. This could not only affect children economically but also emotionally and mentally.
We understand that divorce is not a simple decision, but we want to remind you that it can create turbulence in your children’s lives. Every family is different, so the five points above do not represent or predict everyone’s experiences following a divorce. However, it is in your and your children’s best interests to consider the five elements above to proactively address them before it’s too late.
Like you, our family lawyers at the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC want the best for your children. Thus, we will not only represent your case but also serve as a resource to help you prepare for the obstacles your children may face after your divorce. The last thing you need to deal with after your divorce is finalized is another emotional rollercoaster, so we will ensure no stone is left unturned in your case.