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How the divorce can affect your child according to age

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Family Law

Going through a divorce can be stressful, not only for you and your former spouse but also for your children. Sometimes, they can suffer the harshest blow, making them react differently. In some instances, children could develop behavioral and emotional issues because of divorce-related stress, risking their well-being overall.

As a parent, you should pay close attention to your child throughout the divorce. Noticing signs of distress can be easy for some, but they could be subtle at other times. It can be challenging to properly support your child without understanding what they are experiencing. To appropriately prepare yourself for your child’s needs before, during and after the divorce, you should watch out for these effects that may appear based on their age:

  • Toddlers up to 3 years old – These children are often unaware of what divorce means but suffer from how the process can disturb their home lives. They are prone to acting out, demanding more attention than usual. Young toddlers are especially vulnerable to sleeping problems and regression.
  • Preschoolers up to 6 years old – They can usually pick up on what is happening around them, causing them to feel scared about the uncertainties associated with divorce. These children can also sense any tension at home, causing them to blame themselves for their family’s situation.
  • School-age kids up to 11 years old – They usually struggle with feeling abandoned by their parents during the divorce, causing separation issues. Additionally, they can feel anger and rejection, which could take a toll on their performance at school.

As children grow older, they can comprehend more about what divorce means. Still, they may suffer emotionally regardless of how old they become. 

Knowing how to address divorce-related distress

If your child shows signs of distress because of your divorce, you could address it by being supportive and open. Also, asking for help proactively and appropriately could benefit you, your children and your entire family.

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