Effects of Divorce on Children

Divorce statistics estimate that 28% of children are living with one parent due to divorce. Divorce is distressing for children as they are usually separate from one of their parents and they have been involved in the conflict between the two parents.

Studies have also shown that because parents are themselves suffering from this major life change, parents are often less responsive and less demanding of their children; in other words, parents don’t have the resources to engage in good parenting. There is hope. Research shows that approximately two years after a divorce, parenting skills pick up again and mother-daughter relationships specifically improve.

Children are affected by divorce in multiple ways and through multiple routes. Divorce affects a child’s academic achievement, self-concept, conduct and parent-child relationship as well as their ability to ‘adjust.’ Many children—85% to be exact—live with their mother. A father’s absence and a mother’s attitudes towards men and life in general greatly impact how her children develop.

Divorce also affects a child into adulthood. Adults from divorced homes are more likely to get divorced themselves, become teenage parents, have lower satisfaction toward life than intact families and are more likely to become depressed.

Here’s just a small look at how divorce affects the children. It’s not a pretty picture, but there are several things that parents can do before and during a divorce that lessen the harmful effects of divorce on children.

It can be helpful to talk about the effects of divorce on you and your children. Chat with other divorced moms in our forum.