When parents make the decision to get divorced, their family will be put under pressure, confusion, and stress, especially the children. Because every state has different family laws, they will need to understand the specifics laws in their state so they can make informed decisions. The laws surrounding divorce can be very complicated and involve so many emotionally-charged topics, it is very helpful to get Family Lawyer Advice. A family lawyer has the necessary experience in litigation and provides assistance while protecting the rights of everyone in the family.
Understand the Pain
A divorce represents a serious disruption in the family dynamic and can be very difficult for members of the family to cope. Everyone reacts differently, but they usually share a common emotion. That emotion is pain. It hurts when something like your family life changes in ways you might not understand, and certainly don’t know how things will be moving forward. Children, in particular, are greatly impacted by their parents splitting up. Every child reacts differently. Some act out and rebel, others get depressed, and some become withdrawn.
Children almost always feel stressed when their parents get divorced. Their reaction will depend upon several factors such as their age and the condition of the marriage. Older children might actually feel some relief if their parents were always fighting or angry, making the home environment very unpleasant. It is important for parents to understand how their children are feeling and not to let it affect their relationship with their own children. Parents can help manage this transition period for themselves and their children by keeping communications open, understanding how their children feel, and working together to get through this difficult time.
The reaction to this life-altering event for children varies from one extreme to the other. In some cases, children will experience behavioral problems like acting out, being disobedient, showing anger, violating rules, showing signs of anxiety, becoming depressed, and doing poorly in school. On the other extreme are children who feel like it is their responsibility to take care of their parents and siblings and become overly responsible. Neither of these extremes should be ignored because they are not conducive to the healthy emotional development of a child.
Unless a family is financially well-off, many families will feel the financial strain of a divorce. In many cases, one parent moves out of the family home and into another making it necessary to pay for two homes. Sometimes a parent who had stayed home will need to get a job to make ends meet. Not only will the children feel the effects of not having as much money as they did before the divorce, they will have to adjust to their custodial parent going to work rather than being at home as they were before.
Don’t Make Them Choose
Some divorces are amicable and some are very nasty. When both parents are still very angry at the other, it leaves them full of hostility. In too many divorce cases, one or both parents will bad mouth the other parent to their children. It might not even be a conscious effort to discredit the other parent. This can cause a lot of emotional damage to children making them think they need to choose sides. This is definitely not in the best interest of the children. How they react will depend upon their personality. Some might withdraw completely and turn against both parents. Others might feel like they have to please whichever parent they are with at the moment which can be very confusing to them. They will feel like a ping-pong ball and can cause damage to them emotionally. Parents should do everything they can to not put their children in the middle.
No matter how you look at it, divorce represents a huge change in the lives of children. They have to adjust to:
- Watching their parents stop loving each other
- Seeing their parents break their marriage commitment
- Having to go back and forth from each parent's home
- Learning to live without the daily presence of the non-custodial parent
A divorce creates a challenging new family dynamic and living environment for everyone. Parents should keep the communication channels open with their children, discuss their feelings, and work together so that all family members can learn to live their life to its fullest potential in the post-divorce environment.