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How Will My Illinois Divorce Affect My Children?

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorney parenting plan

Divorce can be especially difficult for children. It can be hard for them to understand the reason why their parents’ marriage is ending, and they are certainly not the ones responsible for the final decision, but their lives will nevertheless be turned upside down as a result of the separation. As a parent, it is important for you to understand how a divorce can affect your children so that you can provide the best possible support for them now and in the future.

Common Effects of Divorce on Children

On a surface level, the most notable effect of a divorce on children is the major change to their routine, as they will likely be dividing their time between both parents’ homes. Working with your spouse to develop a thoughtful parenting plan that addresses parenting time and decision-making responsibilities can go a long way toward helping your children adjust to this transition and ensuring that their best interests are protected.

That said, divorce can also affect children in ways that are not immediately noticeable or quite so tangible. You should look out for some of the following changes in your children’s emotions and behavior that tend to appear after a divorce:

  • Increased stress and mental health issues: Children not only face emotional stress due to the division of the family but also stress related to the interruption of their routine and other common divorce changes like the move to a new home. This stress can impact their emotions and academic performance, and in some cases, it may lead to the development of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues that require professional attention.

  • Regressive or rebellious behavior: Young children especially may revert to relying on their parents to a greater extent than they did before the divorce. Lashing out is also common for young children and adolescents. You may notice more temper tantrums or defiance of household rules, for example.

  • Poor conflict management: Children who witness destructive conflict between their parents often model this behavior when they face conflict themselves. This can affect their current and future relationships with parents, siblings, friends, and romantic partners.

  • Risky coping mechanisms: Many children of divorce tend to seek comfort in drugs and alcohol, early sexual activity, and other risky behaviors that distract them from the pain of the divorce.

If you see any of these signs in your children, usually, the best thing you can do as a parent is to show patience, understanding, and a willingness to talk and listen to their concerns. Keeping their lives as stable as possible is also helpful, and you should never hesitate to seek assistance from a mental health professional if you believe your child may be at risk.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

Going through a divorce is not easy, and it can impact the entire family, not just the spouses who are parting ways. Protecting your children from the negative effects of divorce often starts with making decisions in their best interest during the divorce process. The reputable and compassionate St. Charles parenting plan attorneys at the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC can help. Contact us today at 847-428-7725 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

https://www.verywellfamily.com/psychological-effects-of-divorce-on-kids-4140170

https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/effects-of-divorce-on-children

 

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