Divorce impacts the lives of everyone in the family. But, for parents in New Jersey, the main concern is often the many ways divorce can affect their children. While statistics show emotional, physical and academic effects on children related to divorce, parents can actively work to help children overcome these effects to grow into healthy, stable adults.
What the statistics say
Divorce is not an uncommon occurrence. With about 50% percent of marriages ending in divorce, that means that many children will witness and experience the end of their parents’ marriage. Those children might also experience emotional, physical and academic effects, though the actual impact on the children will depend on each child and the situation. Statistics show that children whose parents go through a divorce might experience a variety of effects, including:
- Increase in stress and health-related conditions, including illness, injury and accidents
- Higher chance of mental health issues and disorders than in children in intact nuclear families
- Decrease in school performance and lower grades
- Behavioral problems
- Riskier behavior when it comes to substance use and sexual activity
What parents can do to help their children
Some of the statistics on the effects of divorce on children suggest that these might be stronger within the first two years after the divorce. However, proactive parents might start offering their children support even before the divorce begins to help them heal and overcome these effects. One way is to shield the children from the conflicts between the parents, which can have a more negative impact than divorce.
When the children become the priority, parents often look for options to resolve their divorce issues in a less combative way and might consider mediation an opportunity. They can also work towards creating a supportive, cooperative joint parenting schedule and relationship.