According to research, around 40% of new marriages in the US included one spouse who will be remarried, and approximately 20% of new marriages involve individuals going through remarriage. Separated parents often start a new life after divorce, and it is not unlikely for both parents to remarry. Additionally, the divorce rate is higher for second marriages, so some children experience multiple separations and divorces (and accompanying family changes) over the years.
Dealing with divorce and separation is not easy. However, trying to stay together for abusive, high-conflict, or an already broken family can be more devastating, traumatic, and damaging to both children and parents. As such, if you are planning to get a divorce, are looking for divorce advice, or would like to know if there are other legal options, give us a call. Our Orange County divorce attorneys know marriage and family law that can help you handle divorce proceedings.
Families Going Through Divorce
A break-up, divorce, and separation from the family home are stressful for parents, but the negative effects on children are more apparent and disruptive. The need for children to get along with the non-custodial or separated parent and possibly, a step-parent and step-siblings can be another big adjustment. Most divorcing parents get anxious and experience sadness when adjusting to new living arrangements, especially when stepfamilies are involved.
It is challenging to cope with the effect of parental divorce. Emotionally, the short-term and long-term effects of divorce on children could make them act out, experience guilt, feel unhappy, or even depressed. Adolescents with divorced parents are more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as substance use and early sexual activity. Adolescents with divorced parents tend to report higher alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and drug use than their peers.
Effects on Behavior and Mental Health
Children from divorced families may experience more externalizing problems, such as impulsive behavior, delinquency, and conduct disorders, compared to kids from two-parent families. Divorce may trigger an adjustment disorder in children that may resolve within a few months, although this is not always the case. Studies have found significantly higher depression and anxiety rates in children from divorced parents.
Divorce creates emotional turmoil for the entire family since the situation can be pretty confusing and frustrating at the same time. In general, divorce may increase the risk for mental health problems in children and adolescents. Regardless of age, gender, and culture, children of divorced parents experience increased psychological problems. Children also often develop relationship problems with the custodial parent. Primary caregivers, mostly divorced mothers, often report higher levels of stress associated with single parenting.
The Need for Emotional Support
After the divorce process, the well-being of the married couple going through a divorce and their children are gravely affected. The emotional impact of divorce is always apparent, although each situation is still unique. In extreme circumstances, a child may feel relieved by the separation—if a divorce means fewer arguments and less stress.
Most of the time, teenagers tend to feel angry about divorce and the changes it creates. They may blame one parent for the dissolution of the marriage, or they may resent one (or even both parents) for the disruption in the family. On the other hand, grade school children may worry that the divorce is their fault and may fear that they misbehaved or assume that they did something wrong.
Young children often struggle to understand why they must go between two homes. They may worry that if their parents can stop loving one another, there will come a time that their parents may stop loving them, too. Additionally, it is common for kids to struggle with their feelings and behavior immediately after parental separation and divorce. In some cases, one would need to seek professional help to address mood issues or persisting behavioral problems.
Maintaining Healthy Relationships Amidst the Divorce
Following the co-parenting plan is not easy, and conflict between parties is not uncommon even after divorce. Consulting with a psychologist to reduce household stress can help children after divorce, especially those with emotional problems. Additionally, a healthy parent-child relationship can help kids develop higher self-esteem and better academic performance after divorce. Parental warmth, positive communication, and low levels of conflict may help children adjust to divorce better.
A referral to talk therapy, professional support, or other supportive services may help your child sort out his emotions. Family therapy and community support groups for kids may also help address changes in family dynamics. Support groups allow kids in certain age groups to meet with other children, who are likely experiencing similar changes in family structure.
Seek Reliable Legal Help from Reliable Divorce Attorneys
Even though divorce is tough on families, staying together solely for the children’s sake may not be the best option. Children who live in homes with many arguments, hostility, and discontentment may be at a higher risk for developing mental health issues and behavior problems.
If you need assistance with divorce filings in California, consult with reliable Orange County family law attorneys. Our California divorce law firm can provide the legal help that you need. Contact us at Trevino Law and speak to a hands-on Orange County family law attorney today.