Easing the Stress of Divorce on Children

easing the stress of divorce on childrenEasing the stress of divorce on children. approximately half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, many of them involving children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the likelihood of a marriage ending in divorce increases with each subsequent union. The probability that a first marriage will end in divorce is about 40 percent, for a second marriage that number rises to 60 percent, and for a third marriage the number increases to 73 percent.

The decision to end a marriage affects not only the divorcing couple, but their children as well. Studies reveal that nearly half of all children living in the U.S. will witness their parents getting divorced. Many of these children will also witness their parents going through the divorce process in a subsequent relationship.

Many parents are concerned about how their decision to end a marriage will affect their children.

Parents who are considering filing for divorce frequently express concern regarding how their decision will influence their children. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), when confronted with the idea of their parents divorcing, children often experience feelings of fear and confusion. In addition, many children believe they are responsible for causing their parent’s divorce.

Tips for parents dealing with divorce:

AACAP provides tips to help divorcing parents ease the stress of separation on their children. These suggestions include–

  • Speaking with children early on in order to provide them with enough time to process the situation, and to avoid keeping the decision to divorce secret until the last minute.
  • Making sure that both parents are both present when speaking to children about getting divorced.
  • Keeping conversations with children about getting divorced simple and straightforward, avoiding discussions about a spouse’s faults or other relationship issues with children.
  • Reassuring children that they are not responsible for the divorce.
  • Recognizing that the divorce process will be a difficult and upsetting time for everyone in the family.
  • Making sure that children know that both their parents will always love them and be available to support them.

Signs that the child of divorcing parents may need professional help:

In addition, AACAP urges divorcing parents to keep an eye out for signs that their children may be experiencing mental and emotional distress that may require professional care.

Signs and symptoms can include–

  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Aggressive and/or uncooperative behavior
  • Problems at school or with other relationships
  • Lowered self-esteem.

If you live in Sonoma County, Mendocino County or Lake County California and are considering filing for divorce, you should consider contacting the experienced Beck Law P.C., family lawyers. We can review the circumstances of your case and provide you with advice and guidance regarding the best options for you and your family.


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