How Does Divorce Affect Children?

Updated at: Feb 06, 2013
How Does Divorce Affect Children?
Dr Poonam Sachdev
Tips for ParentWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Mar 12, 2012

Divorce Affect ChildrenThe rise in divorce rates has brought many social problems to the lives of people affected, especially the child (who has no say in it and is the one person who is most affected). Most people think the problems created by divorce are a transient phase in the life of the child, but experts on psychological and mental health think differently; they believe it can have a lasting effect on the child’s psychological and mental health. The post-divorce trauma is exaggerated if the divorce is traumatic or if there is an intense battle for child custody. Read on to understand some of the effects of divorce on children.


The child can experience sadness, loneliness, stress and anxiety; he may have a guilty feeling or blame himself for the divorce. The emotional hurt and stress caused by the divorce may cause stress and behavioral problems at home and school. Children can express these difficulties at home by:

  • Denial of responsibility.
  • Destructive behavior and not following rules.
  • Defiance, disobedience.
  • Secluding and isolating himself from friends and family.
  • Early sexual activity, teenage pregnancy, abuse of drugs and alcohol.
  • Younger children may start bedwetting.
  • Disturbed sleep.

Divorce - not only disturbs the personal life of a child - it leads to problems at school as well; they may isolate themselves from peers and friends. Their grades suffer; they have difficulty concentrating or have behavioral problems, and are likely to drop out of school.


However, it’s not all doom for children with separated parents; you can make it less traumatic by ensuring a smooth divorce. Let your children know you both love them and teach them to accept their life without any guilt, and to progress with a positive attitude.




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