A Must Read Before Anyone Who Wants a Divorce Goes To Court
Even when divorce is the best option, it will always be tough on you and even rougher on your children. Statistically speaking, research comparing children of divorced parents to children with married parents shows:
- Children from divorced homes suffer academically. They experience high levels of behavioral problems. Their grades suffer, and they are less likely to graduate from high school.
- Kids whose parents divorce are substantially more likely to be incarcerated for committing a crime as a juvenile.
- Because the custodial parent’s income drops substantially after a divorce, children in divorce homes are almost five times more likely to live in poverty than are children with married parents.
- Teens from divorced homes are much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol use, as well as sexual intercourse, and even suicidal tendencies than are those from intact families.
The reason behind all these isn’t due to the fact that “mom and dad are splitting up”. It’s the emotional trauma that is displayed in front of them that affects the prefrontal cortex development.
The always-present emotional traumas are simple but profound. As licensed counselor and therapist Steven Earll writes:
“Children (and adult children) have the attitude that their parents should be able to work through and solve any issue. Parents, who have given the children life, are perceived by the children as very competent people with supernatural abilities to meet the needs of the children. No problem should be too great for their parents to handle. For a child, divorce shatters this basic safety and belief concerning the parents’ abilities to care for them and to make decisions that truly consider their well-being.
Children have the strong belief that there is only one right family relationship, and that is Mom and Dad being together. Any other relationship configuration presents a conflict or betrayal of their basic understanding of life. In divorce, children [tend to] resent both the custodial and absent parent.”
Emotions can run high in times of divorce, which can lead to fighting and messy custody situations. Mediation can simplify the process for everyone involved, especially the children. Having a professional mediator to navigate the needed conversations between you and your soon to be, or even ex-spouse, will speed up the custody process. A professional mediator knows what conversations are needed such as visitation schedules, and parental responsibilities,and many more that can prevent unneeded trauma for children. Children need us to show them they are a top priority in this process as much as we need to move on.