Effects of divorce on children
A new UK survey of 500 children and young people in the 14 to 22 age bracket has again highlighted the damaging effects of parental separation on children.
The survey, commissioned by an English and Welsh association of family lawyers, revealed a range of concerning statistics, including that:
- 15% of those surveyed reported having to move schools as a result of parental separation;
- Almost one in four reported struggling to complete homework, essays or assignments;
- More than one in ten reported getting into more trouble at school with 12% confessing to skipping classes;
- Some 32% of respondents indicated that one parent had tried to turn them against the other during the separation and over a quarter stated that their parents tried to involve them in their dispute;
- 14% said that they started drinking alcohol or increased their alcohol intake following their parents’ separation and 13% admitted to experimenting or considering experimenting with other drugs;
- One in five respondents indicated being upset or embarrassed by material posted on social media by their parents about their separation or divorce; and
- 19% reported completely losing contact with one or more grandparents.
It is likely that Australian youths suffer in a similar fashion to their United Kingdom counterparts.
Parents who have separated or are considering separating may wish to attend a post-separation parenting course to assist them in considering the effects of their separation on their children and to avail themselves of less-adversarial methods of determining parenting arrangements for their children, such as Family Dispute Resolution.