Everyone knows the divorce statistic that 40% of marriages end in divorce. It's also common knowledge that divorce has negative effects on the children. Divorce weakens the relationship between children and their custodial and non-custodial parent in different ways and to different degrees. If you understand how divorce impacts these relationships, you can work on repairing them.
How Divorce Impacts Children
Children grow up believing that parents can solve any problem, keep them safe, and can provide for their basic needs. Going through a divorce shatters those beliefs. A divorce makes it harder for children to trust their parents, and that weakens and damages the relationship between them. Finding an experienced law firm such as Divorce Matters helps take some of the stress away and allows you to focus on helping your children.
Factors That Change the Effect of Divorce
The primary effect of divorce on children is that there is a decline in the relationship between both parents and the child. However, to what degree this decline is felt depends on 3 factors:
- The quality of the relationship with each parent before the divorce.
- The intensity of the conflict both before and during the divorce, and how long it lasts.
- The parent's ability to focus on the needs of the children both during and after the divorce.
Mother/child relationships are most affected by the physical results of divorce. Stress, exhaustion, and worry all affect the mother's ability to provide emotional support, especially during the critical first year. A poorer and less stimulating environment makes it harder for children to trust that their mother can provide for them.
Father/child relationships are complicated by the fact that most fathers are not the custodial parent. Fathers tend to drift away from young children, especially if the father relocates or finds a new partner. The National Survey of Families and Households reports that only 1 in 6 fathers saw their children weekly, while less than half saw their children more than a few times a year.
If you can find a good experienced law firm that specializes in divorce, you will reduce the stress on everyone and be better able to help your children through this difficult time. It's hard to keep the focus on the children during a divorce, but you can minimize the effect it has on your relationships.