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During a Divorce Kids Have Worries, Too.

Posted by Jenny R. Stevens | Mar 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

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Photo Credit: Vanessa Serpas, Unsplash.com

Our firm practices exclusively in South Carolina family courts, and therefore most of the cases we handle on a day-to-day basis involve child custody in some way or another. Sometimes the case is what's called an "initial determination" of custody - the first time a court makes an Order defining the custody arrangement between two parents. Sometimes it's a modification case where the parents are having some issue (or issues) with the original custody arrangement and they are seeking to have it "modified" by the Court.

While there could be many different variables that lead the parents to file a family court action, what often gets missed in the fray is that the children at issue in the case are experiencing their own worries, fears, and concerns through the process. Often they just don't have the vocabulary or the courage to let anyone know, but professionals who spend a lot of time with children going through family court actions (such as therapists and Guardians ad Litem) can usually recognize the signs of what's going on with them just underneath the surface.

In her book, Putting Children FirstDr. JoAnne Pedro-Carroll cited a research 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 dealing with issues and emotions which nothing in their life prior has prepared them to endure or process.  While most parents are unable (whether due to common sense or pursuant to a 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. By doing so, they provide the children with some level of comfort and reassurance that they will never be forgotten, even though the family's routines and day-to-day life may be changing drastically right 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 should be able to offer referrals, also.

The Stevens Firm, P.A. - Family Law Center has provided exceptional legal counsel and support to families throughout South Carolina for over two decades, handling all matters of family law, such as child custody, child support, and divorce. We are well-equipped to handle all divorce and family law matters, no matter your circumstances. Contact us at (864) 598-9172 to schedule your initial consultation.

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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