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Is There Ever a “Good” Time for Parents to Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerEnding a marriage is no easy decision, especially when you are a parent. As soon as you have children, your life is no longer about just you and you must also take into consideration how your actions will affect your child. Many parents put off the divorce and stay together for the kids in unhappy marriages in an effort to protect their children from the negative effects of divorce.

Studies have shown that it is not the divorce itself that leaves lasting effects on children, but rather, being exposed to their parents’ constant conflict was responsible for causing negative effects. There is no way to completely shield your child from your divorce, but understanding how your child might react to your divorce can help you prepare and guide them through the coping process.

Effects on Children

Each child is different and is going to react differently to divorce based on a variety of factors, but age and maturity level are two of the biggest factors affecting your child’s reactions. The age your child is when you get a divorce will also help you determine how you should help your child cope with the stress of the divorce. Here are the effects commonly observed in children of different age groups:

  • Babies: Obviously, infants do not understand what is going on when their parents get divorced. However, they can sense tension in their environment. If they are exposed to constant tension, they can become irritable, clingy, and may even show signs of developmental delay.
  • Toddlers and Preschoolers: Children in this age group are still cognitively developing and often have trouble adjusting to changes in the household. These children also usually have not yet developed coping skills to deal with change, which can lead to frequent emotional outbursts or misbehavior. They may also return to habits that were once outgrown, such as sucking their thumb or soiling their underwear when they were already toilet trained.
  • School-Aged Children: Younger children, such as 6- to 8-year-olds, do not understand the concept of divorce but feel a sense of responsibility for their parents’ breakup. Older children, such as 9- to 12-year-olds, may choose a side in the divorce and “blame” one parent for the breakup. They may feel angry about the divorce and express that anger by getting into trouble at school or becoming withdrawn and depressed.
  • Teenagers: Teens often take the news of their parents’ divorce hard because they are able to comprehend the situation much better than younger children can. Teenagers can range in response to divorce, from being sad and depressed to upset and outraged. Unlike younger children, teenagers tend to pull away from their parents when they get a divorce. They may have issues in school, trouble sleeping, or even exhibit signs of depression.

Discuss Your Case with a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Many couples believe that staying together for the children is a worthy sacrifice, but the trust is, if you and your spouse are unhappy and are constantly in conflict with one another, you might actually be doing more harm than good. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we will take care of the legal side of things so you can focus on creating a peaceful and healthy environment for your children. To begin discussing your case with a skilled Elmhurst, IL divorce attorney, call us today at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.parents.com/parenting/divorce/coping/age-by-age-guide-to-what-children-understand-about-divorce/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-impact-of-divorce-on-children-of-different-ages_b_6820636

https://www.verywellfamily.com/psychological-effects-of-divorce-on-kids-4140170

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