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Effects of Divorce on Children

February 27, 2020

No family expects to go through a divorce. While it may be the best solution for some families, it can be a difficult period of transition for everyone involved, especially children. Divorce can cause profound changes in a child’s life, and each child is affected differently. Research suggests that, even in situations where divorce is the healthiest route, children will suffer to some degree.

When parents separate, the whole family must find ways to navigate the changes in their relationships. Children who are used to having both parents in the same house may now have to deal with seeing one parent less frequently or living somewhere unfamiliar. There may also be changes to their primary caregiver’s income, which can impact their lifestyle. All these new circumstances can affect a child’s sense of security.

Emotional and Physical Effects

Divorce can have profound psychological impacts on a child. Children may experience feelings of loss, anxiety, or distress. They may be confused or overwhelmed by these feelings, leading them to anger or irritability. Some may see their grades drop or begin acting out. These issues can develop into long-term conditions, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, or insomnia. Their physical health may be affected as well, as this emotional turmoil can make them more susceptible to illness.

Adolescents tend to engage in high-risk behaviors after a divorce, such as smoking, drinking, abusing drugs, having unprotected sex, or getting into trouble with the law. While older children have already started to establish their independence, they may resent one or both of their parents for causing these profound changes in their lives. These risky behaviors can have serious short-term consequences, but they can also have lasting effects; children of divorce have a lower life expectancy and greater risk of developing cancer due to these coping mechanisms.

Helping Children Through Divorce

There are certain steps that parents can take to help mitigate the lasting effects of a divorce on their children. It is important for both parents to maintain healthy, loving relationships with their children. Maintaining steady communication and regularly showing affection can help children trust their parents and avoid feelings of abandonment. In order to co-parent effectively, divorced spouses must also have a healthy relationship with each other; while there may be some lingering resentment, they must avoid open hostility and find a way to minimize conflict. Building a strong routine can help children feel more secure. This includes establishing rules and consistently disciplining children, as well as teaching them healthy strategies to effectively handle their feelings.

Huntsville Divorce Lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. Help Resolve Complex Divorce Issues

The Huntsville divorce lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. help families who are going through a divorce receive the best possible outcome. We understand that every family is different, and we are determined to find solutions that fit your needs, including custody arrangements. With offices conveniently located in Huntsville and Athens, Alabama, we provide comprehensive representation to families throughout North Alabama, Madison County, Limestone County, Marshall County, Jackson County, Morgan County, and Lauderdale County. Call us today at 256-539-3110 or contact us online for an initial consultation.