One of the most common myths about divorce is that it only negatively affects extremely young children. In reality, regardless of the child’s age, divorce among parents has the potential to result in devastating and long-lasting complications. Children are still learning and developing when they go to college, and the end of a parent’s marriage can have lasting complications. Studies reveal that when children go to college, they are in the middle of a critical development stage and that receiving news about divorce can greatly disrupt the child’s life.
Removing the Myth of Divorce When Children Leave
Many parents think that by waiting to divorce until the children have left home, it will be somehow easier for the children. In reality, divorce is almost always a hard thing for children to accept, no matter their ages. While it is true that family dynamics change greatly when a child leaves home for college, children in college are often still working on developing their identity. This means that if a child’s parents decide to divorce during this period, the event can harm that child for the rest of his or her life.
The Impact of Divorce on Female Students
The negative impact of divorce is felt particularly strongly among college-aged women, according to a student published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. In a comprehensive study of children whose parents divorced after the age of 5, researchers found that there was a clear and adverse impact on college-aged women. Divorce during this time has the biggest potential to disrupt a father-daughter relationship. Consequently, college-aged women end up feeling the strongest separation from their fathers after a divorce.
Issues Commonly Faced by College-Aged Children of Divorce
Some of the most common issues faced by the children of divorce include:
- Thinking they caused the divorce and consequently feeling about the end of their parents’ marriage. In some situations, this can even lead to children questioning their romantic relationships.
- Many college-aged children value being on their own for the first time. These children value home as a safe place to which they can return. Following a divorce, children feel as if they have lost home as a safe place. If the parents ultimately sell their childhood home, children often end up feeling as if there is no longer a home to which they can return.
- If a child is defensive of the other parent, the child can end up having a difficult time accepting a parent’s new romantic partner. In many cases, college-age children are either warm and accepting or become distant and resentful.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Divorce is a difficult and overwhelming time, which is why if you find yourself in such a situation you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. At Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C., our lawyers are prepared to help you through this challenging time. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.