Like other parents across the country, parents in Ohio are faced with a number of considerations when deciding to get a divorce. Some of the bigger issues that can arise are those that revolve around child custody.

When parents divorce, the children can be caught in the middle of custody disputes. In what ways are children affected by a divorce? Are there ways to reduce this impact?

Parents often try to hide disagreements from their kids, usually by avoiding confrontation in their presence. However, children are still likely aware of what is going on. In fact, kids may be observing and actually learning from how their parents interact in the midst of a messy divorce.

In addition, the divorce process can shift a parent’s focus from their kids to many of the other issues that come up. Kids may begin to feel neglected and ultimately be led to believe that they were the cause of the separation.

The effects of divorce on children can stay with them for a long period of time, possibly even affecting the way they approach and develop relationships. And while a divorce may be inevitable for two people, it does not have to have a significant impact on the children.

One way to reduce the impact is to try to keep conflict at a minimum during and after a divorce. This could mean keeping things cordial and not fighting in front of the children. It could also mean sitting down with the children and explaining what is happening, but assuring them that they are not the cause of the split. Preparing children for the outcome of a child custody dispute can also help reduce the impact of the life-changing event.

But divorce is messy and conflict often cannot be avoided. Parents may find it beneficial to speak with someone who understands the divorce process and can help them reach solutions to minimize the impact on their children.

Source: Huffington Post, “The Kids’ Will be Just Fine And Other Divorce Myths,” Claire N. Barnes, MA, Feb. 3, 2012