The Beneficial Outcomes of Divorce for Children
According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40 to 50 percent of the married couples in the U.S. eventually divorce. In many of these marriages that end in divorce, children are involved. While divorce can have both emotional and financial effects on the individuals involved in the marriage, it also has an impact on the children of the couple. However, research suggests that divorce may benefit children more than it actually harms them.
The long term and short term impact
When a child discovers that their parents are getting divorced, they may initially experience feelings of anger, shock, disbelief and anxiety. However, according to Scientific American, research suggests that these initial feelings eventually fade and only a small percentage of children still struggle with their parent’s divorce by the end of the second year.
While children may suffer temporarily from their parents divorcing, they may benefit in the long term from their parents ending their marriage. Children may be:
- Happier because children are more likely to be happy when their parents are happy as well.
- More relaxed because the tension between the two parents living together has been removed.
- Able to experience their parents one and one as a fully competent and engaged parent.
- Able to witness their parent being happy or watch the process of their parent finding a new partner that is better for them.
Depending on the situation, divorce may be more of a positive experience for children than a negative one.
Helping your child through a divorce
However, in order for your child to get through the process of your divorce smoothly, there are several things that you can do as a parent to ease its difficulty. When you are breaking the news to your child that you and your spouse are getting divorced, be honest with your child without telling them all the reasons that lead to your divorce.
At first, your child may experience a mixture of emotions and reactions. When you and your spouse are in the process of divorcing, try and maintain your child’s routine and schedule to the best of your abilities. However, if you do need to change your child’s routine, do it quickly so that your child has the opportunity to adjust. Avoid speaking negatively about your spouse in front of your child and try to keep your child away from the fight if there is confrontation as much as possible.
In addition to these guidelines, find an attorney that can aid you throughout the entire divorce process. This will make the divorce easier on you which will ultimately benefit your child.