The Effects of Divorce on Children
Divorce may seem like a relief in some ways to a couple who is going through a trying time. In fact, it might seem like the escape you need for a fresh start, a do-over of sorts. But when that couple has children, it can make getting a divorce complicated.
The actual paperwork might be the easiest thing do when a child or multiple children are involved with separating parents. But after you both put pen to paper, things may get tricky from a physical, emotional, economic, and psychological standpoint.
As a parent, it’s important to recognize what your child is dealing with. You and your now ex-spouse need to be proactive in assisting your child with this life-altering transition.
Short-Term Effects of Divorce
In the immediate aftermath of a divorce, there are a number of potential side effects your children may suffer. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, it is not unusual for children to blame themselves for a divorce. This internalized feeling can cause a great amount of stress in a child. The stress can lead to intense nightmares, lashing out, and a generalized sense of fear.
After a divorce, children, especially younger children, are unsure about the future. This uncertainty can raise a child’s anxiety through the roof. The effects won’t only be felt within the home but could carry over to their school and social lives.
In the short-term, children may also suffer from what seems like an insurmountable amount of sadness, irritability, and may be disillusioned from what’s really going on.
Long-Term Effects of Divorce
You may not see the long-term effects of divorce on a child for months or even years. Even though they might not develop for a while doesn’t mean they aren’t as serious as the short-term effects. In fact, they could be even worse.
One of the most damaging long-term effects of divorce is the potential for substance abuse. When children are stressed, they may turn to substances such as alcohol or drugs to cope. This is especially true for teenagers and young adults. Drugs and alcohol might be viewed as an escape from the situation.
Without question, a divorce can have widespread effects on a person’s physical and psychological well-being. But it can also cause changes in a family’s socioeconomic status. Divorce will inevitably lead to changes in cash flow and available resources. When a couple is together, they share assets and their income. When they aren’t together anymore, the number of assets and income shrink significantly.
Other long-term effects of divorce on children can include a negative impact on their education, longstanding depression, and long-term relationship problems.
Child Custody and Divorce
The short-term and long-term effects that we have named so far can have an impact on a child that cannot be ignored. However, one aspect of divorce that we forgot to mention so far was child custody.
In New Jersey, child custody is determined by the best interests of the child. Although it’s encouraged that parents decide on custody, sometimes it’s just not possible and it will be up to the court to decide. This itself can have an enormous psychological impact on a child.
Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone
Divorce is stressful for both adults and children. It can have long-lasting effects on children. Your divorce should also consider what your children need. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today to discuss your divorce and how the situation can be made as easy as possible on for children.