Before explaining how much effect a divorce has on children I would like to give some background and statistics on divorce in the United States. In the United States it is estimated that 40-50 percent of all first marriages end in divorce. If a previously divorced person enters into a second marriage, they have an even higher risk for divorce in the second marriage than in the first. The risk of divorce in second marriages is about 60% (Hawkins 41) According to this same article on the reasons for divorce states that, “The most common reasons people give for their divorce are lack of commitment, too much arguing, infidelity, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of equality in the relationship, lack of preparation for marriage, and abuse” (Hawkins 41).
Some of the things listed are things that obviously be prevented or worked through to keep a divorce from happening but sometimes a divorce is the best option for the couple or the family (if they have one) if it means that it will create a more healthy and stable environment in the long run. The highest divorce rates recorded were actually in the 1970’s and 1980’s and have decreased a little since then but overall, divorce rates are still at a very high rate (Hawkins 42). Since the effects of divorce on children are very complex I will just touch on a few things. In this paper I will talk about the how a divorce negatively affects children starting prior to the divorce, going through the whole divorce process as well as long-term effects.
Prior to a Divorce
If a marriage is starting to break down or there are some problems that have come up and there are children involved, chances are that the child will be able to recognize those changes ...
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... cope themselves. A child is developing into the adult they will be in the future and a child needs consistency, love, stability, etc. If the child is in a family where a divorce is happening or has happened in the past, chances are high that the child’s needs are not being met. It is not necessarily either parent’s fault, sometimes it is better for the divorce to take place rather than the parents to stay together, it is still a difficult situation to get through for a child even if it means they end up better off in the future; there are still challenges. There are many effects of a divorce, more than would be possible to fit in a short paper like this one. The effects are very different for children of difference ages, sexes and even vary for different families but no matter what, it seems that a child is negatively affected in some way even if it is temporarily.
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