Divorce is a disturbing time for all parties involved. Usually, kids get deeply involved in their parents’ separation, which may negatively affect them. Although you and your spouse may not continue to love each other, your kids’ life may change after your divorce. If you are considering divorce, speak with a Boston divorce lawyer to know what to expect, including how the process may affect your kids. The negative effects of divorce on children usually do not have to do with the parentings not caring about them. Rather, children just struggle emotionally, mentally, and physically as they cope with the transition.
Thus, before you and your spouse file for divorce, put your differences aside first and talk about how to assist your kids as they adjust to the separation. By ensuring your kids are coping well with the breakup, you can also adapt to the new parenting arrangement. Here’s how a divorce can affect your children:
Impacts on Mental and Emotional Health
Children and adolescents whose parents are going through a divorce may develop mental health issues. This can happen as they struggle to adjust to the new family situation and try to accept that they need to leave the past arrangements behind. Some children can develop anxiety and depression from divorce.
Kids whose parents have decided to divorce may feel guilty and find reasons for their parents’ separation. Sometimes, they may blame themselves for the breakup. Unfortunately, feeling guilty can lead to further issues including depression and stress.
Impacts on Academic Performance
During your divorce, you must properly assist your kids with the transition. Otherwise, their academic performance can be compromised. In general, kids from divorced families may face difficulties at school, especially after an unexpected breakup between their parents.
Impacts on Behavior
If you are about to divorce and have announced your plans to the kids, watch out for their behavior issues. Children of divorced parents show more externalizing issues such as conduct disorders. Also, they may be involved in conflicts with other kids. And adolescent children may be involved in risky behavior such as substance abuse or early sexual activity.
To minimize the effects of divorce on your children, it is important to peacefully co-parent your children. Keep in mind that extreme conflict between divorced parents can cause a high level of stress to children. Even minor tension between you two can impact your kids emotionally and mentally. In addition, make sure you don’t create a situation where they are caught in the middle.