5 Ways Divorce Can Affect Children

divorce processWe’ve all heard the statistic by now: as many as 50% of all first marriages end in divorce. In fact, one divorce in the U.S. is finalized every 36 seconds, totaling up to 2,400 divorces every day and 876,000 each year. This statistic may be good for divorce lawyers, but the divorce process is never quite as pleasant for the families involved.

Sadly, divorce isn’t an isolated incident; it affects more than the two people separating. The parents of 1.5 million children divorce each year. The divorce process almost always has a significant impact on the children involved, though not all kids react in the same way.

Five Ways Divorce Can Affect Kids

  1. They act out at school: Kids with tendencies towards bullying may find that their parents’ divorce reinforces the habit. One child of divorce posted on Reddit that his parents’ split “increased [his bullying] tenfold.”

  3. They take on more responsibility at home: Some older kids may see their younger siblings struggling with the parents’ divorce. This may heighten their protective nature, leading them to act as a source of comfort for more vulnerable family members.

  5. They blame themselves or others: Many children end up blaming themselves for their parents’ split, fearing that they did something wrong to make one parent leave. On the other hand, some kids refuse to take responsibility for their own actions, placing blame on their parents for anything and everything that goes wrong after the divorce.

  7. They feel relieved: Some kids spend their childhood caught in the middle of a strained and sometimes abusive relationship between their parents. Many wish for years that their parents would divorce just to relieve the tension in the home. When the divorce finally does happen, some children feel happier and safer.

  9. They develop a stronger sense of respect for one or both parents: Raising kids alone is not easy. This realization is not lost on many children of divorce, as they see their mother or father struggle to make ends meet and provide a good life for the kids.

The legal aspect of the divorce process is not always the hardest part. A family lawyer will tell you that dividing up assets and signing the papers are never quite as complicated as dealing with legal and emotional matters involving children.