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The Effects Divorce Can Have On Children

 Posted on December 31, 2023 in Divorce

Blog ImageEmotions run high during a divorce for all parties involved. But for your children, especially minor children, they may not be able to understand the situation in order to regulate them. The effects of divorce weigh heavily on children, potentially leading to serious emotional, mental, and even moral complications down the road. As a parent, you will need to do your best to shield your child from the emotional turmoil that divorce can bring while an attorney handles your legal matters.


Younger children may show signs of regression, reverting to old behaviors you had worked so hard to get them to overcome. Such behaviors include:

  • Bedwetting

  • Thumb sucking

  • Clinginess

  • Temper tantrums

When this occurs, the stress may be overwhelming your child. Continue to reassure them and remain consistent to get them back on track.

Separation Anxiety

Another sign that a divorce is affecting your child is increased crying where they are normally otherwise calm. They may look for or ask for the other parent when they are not around or attempt to cling to one parent when they have not seen them on a regular daily basis.

It may help to provide a visitation calendar, for those who understand its meaning, so that it is visually available at all times. Help them to understand the labeling and remain consistent in pointing out when the other parent is scheduled to see them.

Acting Out in Anger

When your whole world is changing beyond your control, it may feel as if anger is the only outlet. The same can be said for children who are unable to regulate their emotions. Children can be angry at any age but emerge more so in teens or grade-school-aged children. Your child may feel lost or abandoned and may direct the anger inward feeling as if it is their fault for the divorce. Reassure them that this is not the case and help them understand that both parents still love them no matter what their situation.

Social Withdrawal

Where once your child was active and social, they are now suddenly shy, anxious, or reclusive. They no longer enjoy the thought of interacting with other children or adults. Your child may be going through a lot on the inside and it may be affecting their self-image. You can help your child by boosting their confidence so that they can emerge from their shell and rejoin society.


Children of divorce are at greater risk for clinical depression and possible suicide attempts. If you notice any signs of severe anxiety or isolation, it may be best to get a licensed medical health professional involved as soon as possible.

Contact a Kane County, IL Divorce Attorney

Divorce is never pretty for anyone, especially for children. No matter how either parent’s presence is felt in a child’s life, change and separation will more than likely cause some difficulties for your child. Ensure you are putting your child first and allow a Geneva, IL divorce lawyer from Serrano Hanson to handle the legalities. Contact the office at 630-844-8781 to discuss your situation and let us get started on helping you.

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