Divorce

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Definition

Legally dissolving the marriage between two people by methods of court or another competent body.

Statistics

  • 23% of American families are single-parent families with children under the age of 18.
  • 25% of children who are from divorced families become disengaged from their family.
  • The rate of divorces has increased over the years.
  • Almost 45% of marriages end in divorce.
  • Children from a divorced family are twice as likely to drop out of school early and are also less likely to attend college.
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Effects of Divorce

  • When a couple gets a divorce, both individuals lose the financial support of their partner and experience stress from being overworked. This extra work causes children to feel neglected due to lack of attention and they become more hostile with their parents.
  • Parental skills diminish after a divorce but gradually come back to what they were before.
  • When pressured to choose what parent to stay with, children and the rejected parent become stressed.
  • The effects on children:
  1. Children who are stressed from a divorce in their family generally get lower grades in school and can't focus as well.
  2. It is harder for them to have close relationships with other family members or friends.
  3. The use of drugs in children is higher when it comes to kids with divorced parents. They also tend to hang around friends that are antisocial and aren't responsible.
  • In some cases a divorce makes a child happier because there is less argument in the household.

How to Talk to your Child.

  • When explaining that you are getting a divorce, make sure your child understands that it is not their fault. Younger children tend to believe they are the cause of the split and become depressed.
  • Don't keep it a secret and tell your child with your spouse.
  • Assure your child that you still love them and, though this will be hard for everyone, it'll be alright.
  • Be alert for any symptoms of depression in your child. Get help from a therapist if needed.

Coping with Divorce

  • One of the best ways to deal with a divorce is to talk openly to a close friend or family member. Communication is vital and helps to relieve stress and anxiety. This also makes it easier to communicate in the future about the situation.
  • Try to stay involved with friends and family as best you can. Your relationship with others will remain stable and the same as they were before.
  • Come up with a plan for college and any future education you want. There are many scholarships for low income families that will help. Saving up is also very important so you can ensure you have a proper education.

Resources

If you are having marital issues contact a family therapist. You can go to AAMFT.org to learn more about divorce and find a therapist for your needs.