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The Enormous Effects of Divorce on Child Welfare in America

Jun 10

The aftermath of parental separation can leave children feeling abandoned, unloved and uneasy. 

With the plight of Covid 19, many families were forced together, and many marriages did not survive the pressure, resulting in multiple divorce cases.  

When children experience a messy divorce between their parents, they may blame themselves for the conflict their parent's face and may often battle with feelings of guilt. However, if the divorce is ended amicably, you may reduce the effects. 

Some divorce and single mom statistics in the US:

  • The United Nations’ statistics on divorces suggest that the US divorce rate is the third-highest in the world.
  • Every 13 seconds, there is one divorce in America.
  • In 2018, more than 1 million women went through a divorce in the US.
  • Almost 50 percent of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce or separation.

The six effects of divorce on child welfare in the US:

Even though every family is unique and all children react differently, there is a general realization that divorce has an enormous effect on children. Some children may experience low to high intensities of feelings.

These feelings include anxiety, confusion, resentment, stress, irritability, loneliness, rebellion, intense sadness, distress and insomnia, and hopelessness. Emotions like this in a child take a toll on their mental, physical, social, educational, behavioral welfare. 

Between custody battles and continued conflict and hostility, a child may be caught in the crossfire of a messy divorce. Unfortunately, divorce is so common in America today that it may downplay its effects on the well-being of children. 

1. Mental effects

Children of divorced parents may act out in school and at home. They may become more violent and display impulsive behavior. These children are more likely to engage in detrimental behavior like substance abuse and early sexual activity. In America, children with divorced parents are more likely to drink alcohol and use drugs earlier than their peers. 

2. Physical effects

How a child handles the divorce of their parents may affect their physical health. Children whose parents are going through a divorce may experience a deterioration in health than children in two-parent and healthy families. 

This stems from sleepless nights, loss of appetite, and other strong emotional responses to the divorce. As a result, a crossfire child’s immune system may be compromised, In addition, making them more prone to being infected by common illnesses. Keeping children well-cared for during such a stressful period is extremely important to physical health. 

3. Educational effects

Children from divorced families may experience a decline in their academics. A study published in 2019 suggested that children who experienced an unexpected divorce between their parents tend to have more problems at school. 

With increased stress and anxiety about their family situation, children’s concentration in class might decrease. This will result in lower grades and unsatisfactory academic performance. At this point, teachers might notice and may suggest that the child is held back a grade. 

4. Social effects

There are various social effects that children from divorced families often experience drastic feelings of loneliness, isolating themselves from their peers. Moreover, withdrawal from usual social groups and activities will result in an even deeper depression and continual separation from parents and siblings. 

It is essential that during this time, children are given extra attention as they may spiral into a deep depression with increased isolation. They may then even face suicidal thoughts. 

5.Financial effects

Where children are involved, parents will have to pay child maintenance based on who is staying with the child/ children. This may be stressful for both parents.

When the divorce wasn’t concluded amicably, and one parent chooses to distance themselves from the other, it may significantly reduce the child’s quality of life. A child’s school and housing arrangement may change dramatically, turning the child’s world upside down.  

Our thoughts

If divorce has become your reality in your relationship with your partner and where children are involved, it is important to consider how this will impact your child/children. 

It is recorded that children who experienced their parents’ divorce are 91% more likely to get a divorce. This means that divorce has long-lasting effects on children, primarily because they are growing and imprinting. If the parents do not handle the situation well, the odds for the child’s future marriage may not look too good.

Growing up in a healthy home, whether with two parents or one, is suitable for a child’s mental, physical, educational and social welfare. However, if your child’s mood and behavioural issues persist, seek help while also ensuring you prioritise the importance of your child’s mental, physical, emotional and educational welfare during and after the divorce.