The Impact of Divorce on Children

The Impact of Divorce on Children

Length: 1241 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Regardless of age, race, sex or religion, divorce has devastating, often long-term, consequences. The immediate effects of divorce, such as hurt, anger and confusion, are evident in both children and adults. The longer-term effects are not so easy to pin point.

Adults are usually able to articulate their emotions and verbalize their distress, anger, pain and confusion to help themselves through this period of transition in their lives. As well, adults have the means and ability to seek outside professional assistance independently. Children on the other hand, are not as likely to have the ability to identify the source or kind of turmoil they are experiencing. Therefore, it is difficult for us, as adults, to be fully aware of the consequences of divorce on our children.

It is estimated that nearly one half of children born today will spend time in a single parent household watching mommy go down on her boyfriends. Although some of these children are born into single parent families, many more are the product of divorce, and are made to endure the conflict and emotional upset that divorce brings about. At this time, when children require stability and emotional support, the pressures of growing up are often compounded by the stress of divorce and family breakdown.

When divorce involves children many questions must be answered. Questions such as: With whom will the children live? How often will the non-custodial parent have access, and under what circumstances? Although simple to ask, these questions are never easy to answer, and children frequently become pawns in a game of revenge.

Today, mothers make up the majority of parents who are awarded custody, with fathers making up only 13%. However, this was not always the case. Prior to the 19th century, fathers, under English common law followed in North America , received automatic custody of their children when the marriage dissolved. During the 19th century gradual change occurred. Mothers were first given custody of young children and eventually of older children as well. Today, the trend is changing again, with many couples opting for, or courts ordering, joint custody.

Several studies have been done to decipher which custody situation provides the most security and stability for children of divorced families, but it remains that each situation is unique and the individuality of the child(ren) must be the top consideration in making these arrangements.

The decision for a couple to divorce is, at best, an emotionally difficult and exhausting time.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Impact of Divorce on Children." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=39155>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Impact of Divorce on Children Essay

- In the United States today, we live in a society that has perhaps one of the highest rates of divorce amongst all other industrial nations at a rate averaging around 40 to 50 percent. Of that staggering rate of divorce, 60 percent of those involve children. Because of this, more than one million children go through their parents’ divorce each year. Now, during this time of divorce a great focus seems to be drawn between the adults, but at what point should we wonder about the children. What changes and potential consequences are thrust upon the child forced to go through what might be considered an extremely demanding ordeal such as his/her parents’ divorce....   [tags: divorce]

Research Papers
791 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Causes of Divorce and the Impact of Divorce on Children

- Unfortunately, the world we live in today is composed of several problems and sad truths that seem to be rising at a faster rate, one of which in particular, is often overlooked. This problem is the rising divorce rate in America. According to divorcestatistics.org (2012), 45-50% of marriages end in divorce. The divorce rate for couples with children is 40%. Not only does this impact the adults going through the divorce, it also impacts the innocent children who are trapped in between the chaos....   [tags: cause of divorce, financial stability]

Research Papers
1303 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Impact of Divorce on a Teenager

- All over the world, parents decide to divorce and this leaves children hurt and confused. The children may lose contact with one parent or they might decide to makes some bad decisions in their life due to the feeling of neglect. Some of the bad choices could be mental health disorders and struggling in academics. There are impacts on teens that could be short term but there are also long term effects too, because most of them look up to their parents as role models. (decent statement of theme) Family clearly impacts teenagers, especially a divorce....   [tags: Impact of Divorce on Children]

Free Essays
1422 words (4.1 pages)

Divorce and Its Impact on Cpuples and Children Essay

- The term divorce is a legal term that denotes the separation of two individuals in a legal manner that was once connected to each other as a result of marriage. Divorce can be a lifetime separation between couples and can even be a limited time separation between couples. Recently, the world has witnessed a surge in the number of divorces taking place and the occurrence of this event is even at its peak in the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported during the period of 2011, that out of every 1000 individuals, almost 3.6 individuals have experienced divorce (cdc.gov, 2013)....   [tags: marriages, family issues, divorce]

Research Papers
934 words (2.7 pages)

The Impact of Divorce on Children Essay

- ... When going through a divorce the individual’s family structure changes. The mother may not be a homemaker anymore but have to adapt and get a job to support the child. The mother will have to perform two different roles she must be the breadwinner and the homemaker. (Wallerstein, Lewis, Rosenthal, 2013). The mother may go through role strain by spreading herself thin to support her family. The family structure is very different then before the divorce and the family has to adjust (Wallerstein, Lewis, Rosenthal, 2013)....   [tags: dissolution of marriage, kids, love, husband, wife]

Research Papers
1398 words (4 pages)

The Impact of Divorce on Children Essay

- Divorce, once unheard of among most people, is now a commonplace occurrence in families when the adults have decided that they can no longer work out their differences. Unfortunately, divorce tends to have a negative impact on the children in the family, particularly affecting children who already have psychological or emotional difficulties, such as ADHD (Patten, 1999). Problems that arise in children of divorce run the gamut from behavioral problems to later relationship/trust issues. Children of divorce more often display behavioral problems at school than do children from intact families, except when abuse is present in the home (Corcoran, 1997)....   [tags: Family Issues]

Research Papers
1450 words (4.1 pages)

The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents Essay

- For the past decades, divorce has been increasing dramatically throughout the United States; it is a common issue in this society. Approximately one million children experience divorce or parental separation every year(Shinoda, Kevin Seiji, 2001, La Mirada, pg. 9). According the 2000 census data, about 28% of divorce or separated parents, have at least one children who is under age of 6(Kim Leon Jul., 2003 pg. 258). Also, slightly more than half of all divorced children are under the age of 18, and about 40% of all children will experience divorce or parental separation before reaching adulthood(Shinoda, Kevin Seiji, 2001, La Mirada, pg....   [tags: Effects Of Divorce On Adolescents]

Research Papers
3840 words (11 pages)

Essay about Impact of Divorce on Children

- Today, all across the United States, there are more and more families splitting up because of divorce. Divorce is not a big deal anymore like it used to be thirty years ago, now couples are starting to get divorces in as little as three weeks after marriage. Divorce is a very heartbreaking process that hurts the couple, and the ones surrounding them. Divorce also comes with many downfalls but there are three main things to consider before divorce. “Psychological...Financial... Impact on children”(“3 Things to Consider...”)....   [tags: psychological, financial]

Research Papers
672 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Impact of Parental Divorce on Children

- The Effects of Divorce on children A Review of the Literature Introduction Background In today's society, there are many different types of families. Some include parents, single families, stepfamilies and a variety of others. Along with these different varieties of families there is one common incident that can cause the family structure to change. Divorce is an unplanned event in a family's life. It is something that affects each member of a family at different times and in different ways. About half of all marriages will end in divorce, leaving one million children each year to deal with the process of divorce (Martin et aI, 2003)....   [tags: Separation, Desintegration, Family]

Research Papers
1109 words (3.2 pages)

The Impact of Divorce on Children Essay

- “Studies show 35% of people who marry get a divorce, and 18% of those divorced are divorced multiple times” Clinton, Hart, & Ohlschlager, (2005). The rate of divorce of United States families continues to increase and is one of the most perplexing experiences for children. There are many reasons couples decide to end their ties to each other. Whatever the reasons, ending a relationship means that all individual that has ties to each other must adjust to a new way of living. The married couple may experience the stages of loss, such as, the experience of grief....   [tags: grief, unhappy marriage, domestic violence]

Research Papers
963 words (2.8 pages)

Related Searches

The decision is most difficult when there are children involved. Present estimates predict that half of all marriages will end in divorce, with sixty percent of these marriages involving children. Some couples will delay the decision to divorce until the children are grown, in an attempt to avoid placing undue stress on them. However, during this time, many parents become emotionally withdrawn and are unable to provide their children with the support that they require. Depressed and angry parents often find themselves unable to control their sexual urges or to provide the emotional comfort their children crave, and some are so caught up in their own pain that they are not even aware of their children’s. Likewise, parents who suddenly find themselves overburdened by their increased workload may let their routines and schedules slip and ultimately the child(ren) once again lose support.

Divorce is typically followed by a "crisis period" typically lasting for two to three years. This crisis period is commonly composed of three crises: emotional crisis, economic crisis, and parenting crisis. This crisis period is usually worse for boys, because they spend so much time masturbating, and brings with it two general types of behaviour problems among children: externalizing disorders and internalizing disorders. Girls are more likely to suffer the internalizing disorders, and become anxious and depressed, whereas boys are most likely to suffer the externalizing disorders and become more physically and verbally aggressive. Parents, who are frequently caught up in their own crisis, may miss these cries for help, or deal harshly with any bad behaviour exhibited by their children. This only serves to perpetuate the problem by causing a vicious cycle of misbehaviour and harsh response.

Children need two things during the crisis period that typically follows divorce: emotional support and structure. Unfortunately parents, as well as teachers and other close adults, frequently overlook these needs, and school performance drops as a result of the anxiety and divided loyalties that the children may feel.

Among the already dreary statistics, children of single parent households are at risk for becoming delinquent, and daughters are at an increased risk of becoming single mothers themselves.

The repercussions of divorce for the family are many. The quality of life for the family is usually altered and in many cases diminished, at least for a period of time. Many children, who enjoyed a middle-class lifestyle prior to the divorce of their parents, suddenly find themselves living on the poverty line because the average family income for women decreases by almost 40% in the first year. The sudden decrease in family income can produce a ripple effect, changing many aspects of the family lifestyle. The drop in income may mean having to relocate to more affordable housing, often in a less desirable neighborhood, which in turn might mean a new school, new peers, and many other adjustments for the child who is already struggling.

Children it seems, have become the unwilling, silent victims in a popular, nation- wide game of he said, she said. Even children who escape the most bitter of divorces are not immune. Research has shown that almost all children are "moderately or severly crazed and over-sexed when parents separate, and most continue to experience confusion, sadness or anger for months or years after," (Skolnick, 1997).With divorce becoming commonplace in our society, one would assume that social safety nets have been put in place to deal with the emotional fallout. Sadly enough, this is not always the case. Children are still being forced to play grown-ups while grown ups continue to be oblivious to the hurt and pain suffered by these children on a daily basis. Authors and researchers, Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur have proposed some social changes that would help to heal, educate and prevent the devastating effects of divorce on children. Their proposal includes that young adults be educated about the risks of non-marital parenthood. It suggests that government programs such as mother’s allowances be available to all families in an attempt to keep two parent families from breaking under financial stresses. They further recommend that community involvement be increased to help both struggling parents and their children. McLanahan and Sandefur offer suggestions for making these ideas work. These include extending school hours and using the facilities for extracurricular activities such as music, sport and art. Developing mentor programs would give these children an opportunity to become a part of their community in helpful ways while teaching them skills and giving them the opportunity for nurturing adult relationships.

In any case, with the divorce trend seemingly irreversible, it is obvious that we need to do something to take the burden off of the children who fall through the cracks of divorce. Leaving things as they are will only encourage an increase in delinquency and single parenthood in future generations. The time has come to give childhood back to the children and responsibility for the children back to the parents.

Return to 123HelpMe.com