The Impact of Divorce on Children

24 December, 2014

Resolution, the national organisation of family lawyers, have recently published the results of a survey of children whose parents had separated. The 14-22 year olds were asked how a parental break-up had directly affected them, with the following results:

· 19% said that they didn’t get the exam results they hoped for

· 24% said that they struggled to get homework, assignments or essays completed

  • 11% said they got into more trouble at school
  • 12% confessed they skipped lessons
  • 14% said they drank more alcohol, or began drinking
  • 28% indicated that they began to eat more or less than previously
  • 13% admitted to experimenting or thinking about experimenting with drugs
  • 32% said that one parent tried to turn them against the other
  • 27% said their parents tried to involve them in the dispute
  • 23% said they had found out on social media that one of their parents had a new partner
  • 19% said they completely lost touch with one or more grandparents after divorce

It is clear from this survey that the effects of parental separation on children cannot be underestimated. Parents must strive do everything possible to resolve disagreements between themselves in constructive and amicable way, without involving their children.

Whilst there is no way to avoid entirely there being any impact of a relationship breakdown on children, their feelings must be considered as a priority in order to minimise any on-going anxiety and emotional issues. I am often told by clients that their children are ‘resilient’ or that they will ‘bounce back’. This survey reports that that is often not the case, and that long term harm can be caused.

There are ways to minimise the harm however. Here at Cripps Pemberton Greenish we are committed to resolving disputes in as constructive and non-confrontational way as possible. Court proceedings are very much a last resort, and we can advise you on the other options for settlement available to you.