What are some ways in which divorce can affect children?    

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When parents get divorced, their children can be affected in many ways.  Some of the most important include:

  • Children, especially when they are young, can feel that the divorce is their fault.
  • Children can become estranged from one of the parents.  If the other parent has full custody, they lose contact with their other parent.
  • Children can come to dislike one of their parents.  The custodial parent sometimes will say bad things to the child about the other parent.  This can lead to bad blood between the child and the other parent.  At the very least, it can lead the child to feel very conflicting emotions about his or her parents.
  • Children often experience inconsistency in discipline.  When the parents get joint custody, the children shuttle back and forth between parents who do not coordinate their discipline.  This can lead the children to have unclear perceptions of what is and is not acceptable.