Break Ups and the Effects on Children

Marriages, despite the best intentions of the spouses, can often end in separation and divorce. This sad state of affairs often leaves the most devastating impact on the children in the family. Research has shown, that separation and divorce can impact children’s wellbeing including their mental health and academic performance.

Children whose parents go through separation or divorce are up to 16% more likely to experience emotional problems such as anxiety or depression and are up to 8% more likely to suffer an increase in conduct disorders. Studies among boys aged 7-14 years old showed that boys in the age group who experienced divorce are more likely to display behavioural problems such as acting up and being disobedient.

Separation is a deeply traumatic event for all involved, it can be an acrimonious, drawn-out, and costly process with no winners and many losers; sadly, the most vulnerable victims of this process are usually the young children in the family.

For a parent who is unfortunate enough to have to go through divorce; the welfare of the children in the relationship is of the utmost importance. Parents should endeavour to minimize any emotional or financial impact the divorce might have on the children in the family. 

During the separation, parents can do a lot of things to reduce the negative impacts of the separation on the children including;

  • Assuring the children that both parents will still love them despite the outcome of the divorce,
  • Explain simply and honestly what is happening including where the children will live and how custody would be shared,
  • Making as few changes in their lives as is possible in the circumstances,
  • Ensure other important people in the lives of the children such as teachers, friend’s parents and close family understand what is going on,
  • Ensuring there is an open communication channel with the children,
  • Never using the children as mediators or go-betweens to pass any communication between the spouses; this creates animosity between the parents and the children and breeds mistrust,
  • Involve mental health professionals such as counsellors where necessary.

One of the most important things a parent can do to protect their children in such circumstances is to have a professional parenting agreement from a trusted professional. At Adam Jones Solicitor, we can amicably settle all the differences between the spouses and provide a platform to build a new chapter in their lives.