Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How will divorce affect my child?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 01/25/2021 at 2:04pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lauren Abasheva, LMHC

Licensed Professional Counselor

A sex positive, and kink knowledgeable therapist with an open mindset and a clear understanding that we are all different.

Top Rated Answers
December 8th, 2014 12:40pm
It will hurt them immensely and they'll think it is all their fault. I know that when my parents separated that is how I felt. Maybe if my sister's and I were a little better and helped out more...they wouldn't have fought and my Dad wouldn't be using every curse word in the book as he packed his bags to leave. As painful as it was...the older I got the more I realized that they just simply did not get along and it wasn't my fault. Or my sister's. My mom and dad didn't like each other and only stayed together for us. Long story short, YEAH, it will hurt and they'll be upset for many years but if you give them attention and let them know it's NOT their fault...they'll be just fine.
December 24th, 2014 12:02pm
Divorce will affect different children in different ways - it's not so easy to pinpoint a generic reaction. In my experience, having been divorced (I have children) and had my parents divorce at a young age, I would say that the experience doesn't have to be overwhelmingly negative. There are going to be lots of questions which need to be answered so you will need to take time to sit down with the children and explain to them in a supportive environment about how it may affect them. The main thing is that you listen to them and give reassurance that this is not happening because of them. I would recommend treating divorce like any other time of major change for children (moving house, changing school etc). If you and your ex are positive in the way you deal with it, then the children will pick up on that and respond much better to the changes. I wish you all the best.
January 3rd, 2015 6:01am
I think it is really hard to foresee how divorce will affect your child since there are so many variables. One thing to take into consideration is the age of a child, current living situation, their temperament and demeanor. But I think that the most important thing that a parent can do that is going through a divorce is to be honest and open and answer any questions in an age-appropriate manner. One of the biggest factors can be when children are feeling as though they are left in the dark or put in the middle. Try your best to make interactions with the other parent as amicable as possible and that will help any negative effects that may occur.
March 12th, 2015 8:29pm
The answer to this question depends entirely on how the two adults act both during and after the divorce. Children are resilient, but if one or both of the parents uses the child as a weapon in the divorce, which happens a lot, at the very least you will see some behavioral issues. This one is on the parents. Place the child before everything else.
September 20th, 2015 4:33am
divorce itself, after the initial shock is not such a big deal, but the things that inevitably change when parents get divorced. if the two adults experience it in relatively good terms, share the custody, and keep open dialoge with their children, the kids get the idea of things being alright with them and with each parent and is easier for them to get over the idea of their parents no longer living together under the same roof. of course is not always easy to do things that way, but above all, let your children know, as honestly as you can, how you feel towards them and towards the situation and inasmuch as they can understand it and wont disturb them, let them know the reasons you got divorced. clear and direct information is what makes the child understand better what is going on, and turns the situation less scary for him
February 4th, 2016 6:09pm
It depend on what kind of relationship you have with your child. If you are both loving, caring, it will be hard on him/her at first. But as long as the child still has the opportunity to meet, talk and play with both parents at least a few times a week, he/she will feel better and more used to it. On the other hand, if your child is used to being alone, the change won't be as dramatic as it would be in the first case.
March 19th, 2016 6:39am
Sadly to say it can cause major problems such as it can make disorders worse if the parent isn't careful it can cause several problems you should be careful don't hurt the child to get back at the other parent cause this happens often and support and help the child threw it.
September 19th, 2019 8:15am
It depends on how old your child is, what their personality is, etc. Although divorces usually negatively affect the children, if you feel like you two are not suited for each other, you should consider divorcing. As a child of parents who have threatened to divorce with each other three times, I have found many advantages and disadvantages of divorcing. When I was 5, my parents were yelling at each other and although I couldn't understand what was going on, I understood one thing, they wanted to leave each other. That was when I made the biggest mistake of my life which I still regret till now. I begged them to stay together, I threw a tantrum, I did everything. Why, because I was scared of change, because I wanted the perfect family, because I wanted them together. Fast forward to now, I'm 15 and my parents are still together. You would think that I am happy because I got what I wanted, but no. I would do anything to turn back time and let them just divorce. I can see how unhappy they are together. They keep on complaining about each other to me. It breaks my heart, but I also don't have the heart to tell them to divorce now, it's too late. This story isn't to show you that you have to divorce, because you don't have too. I'm just trying to say lots of people believe that divorcing will negatively affect their children because it will. I'm showing you the side that not many people see. Were children are still negatively affected because their parents didn't divorce. I personally believe that once you divorce, your child may be negatively affected, but if done right, they can get over it. Also, value your own happiness because it matters too. Please don't be like my parents and only stay together to keep your child happy, because at the end of the day, everyone gets hurt.
November 9th, 2014 6:47am
Imagine if your parent are divorced, how would you feel about that? The impact is bigger than what you think especially when the child is still young.
November 13th, 2014 6:19pm
It will plunge them into deep depression. Most children want there moms and dads together. It's hard when thy go back and forth between houses. Then sometimes they miss the other parent when it's your week...
November 23rd, 2014 1:19am
It affects everyone different. Your child will need to understand that you both love him/her and that no matter what you will both be there for them.
December 1st, 2014 9:58am
No one can answer this definitively. Keep comminication open with your child and ex partner. This will hoepfully make it less troublesome.
Anonymous - Expert in Parenting
May 22nd, 2015 5:34pm
There are many ways that a divorce can affect your child. A good way of breaking the news to them is for you and your spouse to sit down with them and explain what divorce is (depending upon their age), why you and your spouse are getting a divorce and that it is in no way their fault. Assure them that you both still love the child but you just don't love each other anymore. It may be hard, but it can be a big help for the child in understanding what is going on.
September 5th, 2015 1:22pm
My parents were divorced and then remarried a number of years later. I completely lost my mooring as all of the things I was taught to value by my mother were turned upside down.
October 26th, 2015 9:22am
when parents separate it does affect the child when he/she doesnt see both the parents together at the same time in the same house. what you can do is make things as normal as possible for the child by talking nicely to your partner infront of the child and also the three of you should do some fun short activities together. clear the air of the negativity.
January 27th, 2016 3:53am
Divorce is a hard process on the person who is going through it and on the kids. It's good if you keep the kids well aware of what is happening and why the divorce is necessary to you. Keeping secrets from them only makes things worst on you and them.
February 8th, 2016 2:38am
Divorce will definitely affect a child, however the effects can vary depending on the person. It's a complicated matter, and the most important thing to do is to keep communicating with your child and allow them to truly understand the situation.
November 28th, 2016 4:40am
Divorce will have an impact on your child/children for a lifetime in one way or another. A friend of mine has two children. One went with his father, and the daughter went with her. The son is now in his 20's and still blames his mother for the divorce. It's important you talk to your children before starting the divorce process. Explain your reasoning for breaking the ties with your partner and allow them to get mad and feel whatever emotions they feel. And be the one they can turn to. For instance, if your partner was in any way abusive, explain to your child that it is an unsafe environment for them to be in, and if they were abused, please seek counseling for you both. If your other had an affair, please discuss that between the two of you before talking with your child openly about it. For my parents, they felt as though the spark was simply "gone." But I am sure if this is the problem, it can probably be saved with counciling.
May 1st, 2018 12:44pm
Most research show that the while divorce is never easy maintaining cordial relationships between the parents is one of the most important things to help a child.
July 8th, 2019 11:12am
This is a very relevant question, but one that is not always easy to answer. This is due to the fact that divorce affects everyone differently depending on personality of child, perception of situation, but mostly it comes down to how the parents deal with it. However, no-one comes out of divorce unscathed. I think it is important that your child needs to know that the divorce is not as a result of them but something that has happened between the parents. Keep channels of communication open with your child, answering questions they may have as honestly as you can and let them know that you are there to support them through this time. Divorce is a form of loss so your child will experience some feelings of grief and loss as a result of the divorce. Everything they know has changed - their sense of family, not seeing one parent as often. They will likely experience anger and disappointment, but this will change as they deal with the situation and their feelings.
September 30th, 2019 5:38pm
Divorce will affect them depending on how the parents deal with the divorce , they need to set the child or children down and explain what is happening and that they will be there for them all they can be and love them and let them know this was not their fault and that the parents are going to work together on making the divorce a peaceful one. Parents who don't explain things and argue in front of the children will harm them mentally and then physically they will feel affected. Keep the family together even of that means living in two households . Parents should never talk badly about the other parent to the child or use the child as a bargaining tool.
January 25th, 2021 2:04pm
Divorce affects each child differently. Some are more adaptable than others. Some require external specialised counselling and more help than what the parents can give. It is a confusing time for the child so it is important that the child is at the forefront of your mind. They may only be children but they see, hear and watch everything you are doing. They are constantly learning from you so you need to be mindful at all times of what you say and do in front of them. If they have any bad behaviours it is important to really think about where these may have been developed from. Continued support and care from both the parents is pivotal to the child still feeling normal and not feeling like being "the odd one out".