children laying on grass

Children & Divorce

Maybe you’ve known for a long time, but you are ready to get divorced. As you think through the details of the process, there is one thing that keeps you up at night, and that’s how your kids will handle the split. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power, and Roberts Means Roncevic Kapela is here to empower you.

Changes in Behavior

For some children, a divorce announcement is shocking, frustrating, and sad. Unfortunately, many children (especially younger kids) do not have the emotional maturity to process a split healthily. This unprocessed inner turmoil can result in emotional and behavioral changes within your children.

Here is a list of potential emotional outcomes after a child learns about his or her parents’ divorce:

Loss of interest in social activities:

As any divorce leads to a child having less time with his or her parents, children of divorce may have a hard time relating to other kids and their familial situations. This can lead children to isolate themselves from others, as they may be mimicking their parents split by splitting from their friends.

Ways to help your child in this area:

  • Plan play dates with other kids;
  • Spend time with your child when they are home.

Difficulty adapting to change:

Change isn’t a bad thing, but a divorce can force a change onto a child when he or she isn’t prepared for it. Additionally, for many children, divorce is by far the most significant change that’s occurred in their lives up to that point. All that to say, a divorce may be unlike any other scenario a child has faced, and this makes it difficult for him or her to adapt.

Ways to help your child in this area:

  • Be patient and understanding when your child doesn’t want things to change;
  • Keep other things in your child’s life constant.

Emotionally sensitive:

Emotionally compartmentalizing is when someone takes a difficult situation and puts it in a box in their mind so that they can continue to function as they need to without letting their emotions get in the way. While compartmentalizing is often a necessary part of life, kids are much worse at compartmentalizing than adults are.

When kids falter to compartmentalize the news of a divorce, their anger, sadness, or anxiety starts to show in other areas of their lives. Children of divorce may begin to lash out or get upset at things that didn’t use to bother them, and this can be frustrating for parents, teachers, and friends.

Ways to help your child in this area:

  • Enroll your child in counseling to let them healthily express their feelings;
  • Understand that a child’s sensitivity may be stemming from the divorce, even years after the process is over.

Feelings of Guilt:

Some children internalize divorce announcements, believing they are the root cause of their parents' separations. If and when children think they caused their parents’ separations, they start to feel guilty about this, leading to self-hatred and self-loathing.

Ways to help your child in this area:

  • When you announce your divorce to your child, give them an apparent reason as to why the divorce is taking place;
  • Reassure your child that the divorce has nothing to do with them if they say they feel responsible.

Hire an Experienced Family Law Attorney for Your Case

If you or a loved one is going through a divorce, Roberts Means Roncevic Kapela can help you through the process. Our award-winning representation lets you focus on the health of your kids while we focus on the case.

Call (888) 211-3888 now for a free consultation for your case.