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The Top 5 Worries of Children of Divorce

Posted by Jenny R. Stevens | May 05, 2014 | 0 Comments

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The majority of the cases our firm handles involve child custody issues in some way. It may be an initial determination of custody and visitation when a couple first separates, or it might be a modification of a prior custody arrangement due to further changes within the family dynamics.

Regardless of the reason, children of divorce experience many of the same worries and fears during the process. The manner in which parents, attorneys, therapists, and other caregivers handle these worries will often be the deciding factor in how well the child is able to overcome them.

In her book, Putting Children First, Dr. JoAnne Pedro-Carroll cited a recent survey which found that the top five worries experienced by almost all children of divorce are:

  • 98% When I'm with my mom, I miss my dad
  • 98% When I'm with my dad, I miss my mom
  • 94% I worry about will happen to me
  • 92% My parents fight about me
  • 86% My parents argue a lot

These are complex concerns for anyone, but especially for young children. During their parents' divorce, children find themselves in a kind of turmoil that nothing has prepared them to endure.  While most parents are unable (whether due to common sense or court order) to discuss the particulars of what is going on legally with their children, it is imperative that they learn how to be as empathetic and supportive as possible for their children. Doing so provides the children with some comfort and reassures them that they will never be forgotten, even though the family's routines and day-to-day life may be changing drastically before their eyes.

If, as a parent, you are struggling to handle your own emotions and worry that you are not able to meet the emotional needs of your child, seek the advice of a trained therapist who specializes in working with families and children going through separations and divorces.  Your attorney, pastor, or even your child's school guidance counselor may be able to offer referrals, also.

About the Author

Jenny R. Stevens

Jenny has been certified as a Guardian ad Litem for many years, and she finds her work representing children in private custody litigation to be some of the most rewarding work in the practice of law. These cases, along with her own personal experience with divorce, inspired her to practice family law in a way which focuses not only on the legal aspect of family law, but also on the impact these events have on the individuals involved. Being a wife, mother and stepmother herself, Jenny understands the compassion and sensitivity needed to help guide families through these transitions.

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