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The startling impact of divorce on children

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2022 | Divorce |

Divorce causes an increased risk of adverse outcomes for children. You may want to be aware of the potential impacts to take steps to reduce the chance of your child developing any of these mental health issues. New York usually gives joint child custody to the parents, unless one or both are dangerous. The state requires a co-parenting plan. During negotiations, you might want to discuss the importance of considering your child’s mental health as they grow up. Having both parents keep an eye out will help catch any problems that develop.

Drug use

When children don’t learn healthy coping skills, they are at a higher risk of using drugs. Even if your divorce occurred when your child wasn’t a teen yet, they have an increased risk of drug use. In rare situations, young kids start doing drugs, so it’s not just the teen years to watch out for.


Young children know something is wrong when their parents fight. Even if their parents don’t fight in front of them, they sense the tension and lack of harmony. When they go through changes, such as one parent no longer living at the house, they become stressed.

Once kids are around the ages of 8–10, they have a better understanding of divorce. However, they still don’t have good reasoning or cognitive skills. They end up blaming themselves for the divorce instead of realizing that it has nothing to do with them. The self-blame often causes low self-esteem, feelings of guilt and depression.

Relationship problems

Many children of divorced parents have unsuccessful relationships once they’re old enough to date. They internalize the conflict that their parents went through and form negative subconscious beliefs about what it means to be in a relationship. Similar problems may thus play out in their romantic relationships.

Divorce harms children, regardless of how old they are. They are more vulnerable to mental health problems and the adverse life effects of such issues.