Getting a divorce is hard on everyone in a family. Parents must often relocate, finances become more complicated, and children usually have their home life disrupted. While some children are better able to accept and cope with the divorce of their parents, others experience difficulty adjusting. During a contentious divorce, it is hard for parents to notice certain changes to their children until a serious problem occurs. Being aware of some of the signs that your child is having a hard time coping with a divorce may help you spot possible problems before serious trouble occurs.
Difficulty in School
Children spend the majority of their active day in school, so their teachers are often the first to notice changes in their behavior. One of the first signs that a separation or divorce is negatively affecting a child is trouble with their lessons. Children’s grades might start to slip, they may stop doing their homework, and start struggling in classes they previously passed with ease. Divorce is a stressful event in the life of a child, and some studies have even connected divorce with a higher high school dropout rate.
A child who is upset or depressed because of a divorce may begin to voluntarily isolate him or herself. Not only will children of divorce spend less time with their primary parent and siblings, they will also spend less time with their peers. Pay attention to how much time your child spends with friends and speaking with friends. If your children suddenly stop communicating with those who used to be close to them or stop being active in clubs or sports they previously enjoyed, they might need someone to talk to about their emotions.
Acting out and otherwise behaving badly is something that children of all ages do when they are having a hard time adjusting to their parents’ marriage ending. In school-age children, behavioral problems may begin to manifest at school. They can come in the form of ignoring the teacher or fighting with other classmates. Children who are at home most of the time may start having temper tantrums, being rude to their parents, or going out of their way to break household rules.
Blaming a Parent
Occasionally children will lay the blame for the relationship problems and the disruption in their life on one parent. They may do this on their own or it may start because one parent is speaking badly about the other. This blame is unhealthy for both parents and the child. It can have long-lasting affects if potential parental alienation is not stopped.
Focusing on the Child
During a divorce or separation, the most important thing you as a parent can do is focus on the physical and emotional well-being of your child. One way to do this is by retaining a family law attorney who can represent you during each stage of your divorce along with any subsequent child custody hearings. Having a qualified attorney who can manage your divorce will give you more time to focus on the health of your children. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are here to provide you with the legal representation you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so that we can begin discussing your case.