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Understanding how divorce affects children

For many married couples in Massachusetts, it is difficult enough to make big decisions even when it is just the two of them. Adding children to the mix can create even more major decision-making. Whether it is about where they live, which school they attend and how to raise their children, these common decisions are complicated, especially when a couple divorces. Making big decisions about children and following a split can cause serious divorce issues for everyone involved.

A recent report discusses the impact of divorce on children. It was discovered that many parents and even children are in denial and hide the affects of the divorce process. Some parents might not even be aware of how their older children are taking the split. In fact, a recent survey reported that one in twenty children turn to drugs in order to cope with the divorce, even though parents are often unaware of the drug use.

Moreover, 10 percent of parents stated that they thought their children were hiding their true feelings about the divorce while in fact, 39 percent of the children polled in the study sated that their true feelings were left unspoken.

Various contributing factors cause the children to endure more stress than the parents imagine. This is often because of the disputes and ongoing spousal strife that the parents endure. Often the children, specifically the older ones, have to step up and feel forced to care for their parent during this time. Others feel pressured to go against one parent to benefit the other parent. In addition, some children feel that the divorce was their fault. Any and all of these factors could complicate the divorce process as well as cause further issues down the road.

Those dealing with divorce issues surrounding their children should understand that child custody and major decision-making could be completed amicably or with less adverse affects. If everyone comes together in a collaborative approach whenever it is practical to do so, the family could devise an agreement that is not only rational but could be beneficial. Those struggling with divorce issues should consider speaking with a family law attorney.

Source: My Fox Boston, "New survey sheds light on real impact of divorce," Dec. 30, 2013

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