Divorce is a hard decision for many couples regardless of the situations responsible for that final outcome. Those few months or years leading up to the acceptance that the marriage is over and disclosure of impending divorce can wreak havoc on mental stability and add extra stress and complications for everyone in the household. Yet divorce isn’t the taboo topic it once was, and no one should feel the need to stay in or extend a potentially dangerous or destructive relationship because they believe that’s best for the family dynamic. Kids are resilient and already know there are problems long before parents disclose the fact that divorce is on the table. After all, over 1.5 million American children become products of divorce on an annual basis. But while everyone will eventually survive the process and likely be better off for it in the long run, it’s important to understand and prepare for the fact that there are some negative effects connected with divorce and kids.
The Kids May Get to Spend a Lot Less Time With You
When both parents are involved in custody arrangements, you’re making the conscious decision to split your kids between both households. That can be a hard reality for not only the parents but the kids as well. But if you work together, communicate openly, and keep constant schedules, the new changes can also be pretty exciting. The time you do get with your kids suddenly becomes about them, not fighting with the spouse. And since personal improvements are so crucial after divorce, that time apart from your kids can be spent going to the gym, picking up more shifts at work, or even organizing or arranging your next visitation or a special outing with them as they’re bonding with the other parent.
Your Kids May Lose Or Have Trouble Maintaining Valuable Relationships
It’s estimated that up to 25% of kids end up relocating with their custodial parent after a divorce. Suddenly the big family house is too much to handle, a better paying job requires a commute, or paying for that expensive private school is just too overwhelming. That can lead to your kids being the new kid at school and needing to rebuild friendships and teacher relationships from scratch. It can also lead to less time with grandparents and important family members, not to mention split time between holidays and family events. Extra planning and parental agreement can go a long way toward making this stage easier, but it can be tough for the kids at first.
Your Kids May Have Significantly Less Financial Stability
One home with two working parents means both incomes are combined to pay one set of bills. But once two homes are in place, those same incomes are redirected and extras often cut in the process. The kids may need to decide whether dance or soccer is more important. Horseback riding lessons or summer camp may need to be postponed. And the traditional month-long family vacation may need to be cut to a few days if not canceled altogether.
Divorce Can Lead to Depression or Behavioral Problems
Almost 90% of mothers end up with custody of their kids and men tend to move on and remarry quicker than women. Younger kids usually accept these changes quickly and about two-thirds of teens see post-divorce changes as constructive and positive, but one-third of teens struggle emotionally. This can lead to inattention or behavioral concerns at school, disrespect at home, and even the need for individual or family counseling to help with balance and acceptance. The good news is that your Michigan divorce lawyer can help connect you to the best professional solutions for your situation. And with the right focus and attention, these negative effects are not only usually short-lived but can actually make everyone happier and healthier in the long run.