Divorce impacts everyone involved, the couple, their children, extended family members and friends, with each encountering their own unique struggles and emotions. These struggles and emotions are often amplified for the children of a divorcing couple and each child may respond to divorce in his or her own way. However, there are some behaviors that are common amongst most small children of divorce.
If you have very young children, 5-years-old or younger, you should expect their behavior to be much different than that of older children, even their own siblings, who have different outlets and experiences to draw from. Often times infant children are completely unaware of the dissolution of their parents’ marriage and may not fully address or understand it until much later in life.
Children in their “school years”, ages 6-12, tend to have a hard time focusing on things when their parents are going through a divorce. Paying attention in school can be very difficult for these children as their mind attempts to distract itself from the reality of the situation they find themselves in. Many children of this age also believe that their parents’ divorce is “their fault” and they have a very difficult time accepting that their parents now live apart.
Because the decision to divorce is not up to the children and therefore out of their control, sometimes they react with aggressive or regressive behaviors. Some children might also decide to “choose a side” and blame one parent for the divorce. Helping your children cope with a separation or divorce can be hard. There is no question that divorce will significantly impact any child involved and in many cases they will feel a range of emotions including, but, not limited to, shock, anger, sadness, worry and/or frustration. However, it is not all negative, as these emotions and the stress which a child experiences when their parents divorce often times contributes to them becoming more flexible and tolerant young adults.
At Iafrate & Salassa, we assist families through the divorce process every day and, as a result, we understand the trials and challenges that come with divorce. We know that children can be severely impacted when their parents’ marriage ends. We also know that in some cases, even though it can be extremely difficult for parents to make the decision to end their marriage because of their children, it is still the best decision for the couple and children alike. That is why if you have been considering divorce and are ready to take the next step, please contact the experienced divorce attorneys at Iafrate & Salassa. We can help you navigate the divorce process and prepare you for your future. Call us at 586-263-1600, or connect with us online.