How Divorce Impacts Children

Marriage is tough, but divorce can be tougher—especially on children.

Psychologists and sociologists have reported findings and insights on the effects of divorce on children. The impacts of divorce on children can come in varying degrees of severity depending on the children’s age at the separation time. 

Children younger than two or three years old experience little or no effects from divorce. However, the impact may arise if the divorce affects a strong bond or close relationship between one parent and the child. That may lead to corresponding changes in actions and communication. 

The case is quite different for toddlers. The child in this age range may believe that they are the cause of their parent’s separation. Children may believe their behavior resulted in a parent “leaving” them. Further, they may feel it’s their job to bring their mum and dad back together. This mindset may result in the fear of being abandoned or left alone, prompting anger, aggressiveness, depression, and irritability. 

Some experts believe that the transition and reaction to parental separation are more complicated for elementary school children than for children of other age groups. That’s because they are old enough to feel the agony of their parent’s divorce but too young to control or handle their reactions to that pain. They also lack the skills and ability to deal and cope with all the separation changes. Children at this age may often feel excluded by the parent who left them.

This article should not be taken as official legal, medical, or psychological advice. For those seeking a Divorce Attorney in Santa Ana, give Shuff Law Firm a call.

Happy young ethnic mother and little children watching TV on sofa
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

The case is extremely different for teenagers, who may fall deeply into depression, loneliness, fear, anger, and guilt. They feel they should take accountability for the decisions of their parents. There is a deep feeling of loss of parental support at this stage. teenagers whose parents separate typically doubt their capability to get married or find themselves in healthy relationships. Moreover, they internalize the issues that led to their parents. teenagers may also replay the conflicts leading up to the separation, and find it difficult to concentrate at school due to having frequent flashbacks from their childhood. Teenagers find themselves at a chapter in life where they must reconcile the divorce experience along with their developing identities. Those teenagers may also feel conflicted and torn to side with one parent over the other for the reason of the separation. Teenage angst may be an issue, as they may want to vent to show disapproval to the
parent they are most upset at.

The best way to ease the transition is to hire an experienced family lawyer who will act in the best interests of the children involved.

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Some effects of divorce on children may be permanent. In some scenarios, divorce is unavoidable, no matter how difficult it could be for the children.

If you are seeking to file for a divorce or custody case, give Shuff Law Firm a call today.

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