Children, Divorce, and Depression
It is no secret that divorce can be an incredibly stressful time for families. While a couple may have to deal with the grief and sadness of a failed relationship, spouses with children must also manage the transition into a new familial structure.
Divorce is often hardest on children who do not fully understand the entire situation. Many experts in the fields of family law and child psychology agree that divorce can be an extremely difficult event for a child—one that can lead to serious depression.
Leave Your Children Out of the Disputes
It may often be difficult for a parent to leave his or her children out of divorce disputes, especially when matters of child support or parenting time are at issue. Regardless, divorcing parents should make every attempt to ensure that the conflict remains between the adults.
Avoiding criticism of the other spouse in front of children is also essential. While this may be more difficult when a divorce has been prompted by patterns of neglect, abuse, or infidelity, such matters are often too complex for children to really comprehend. As a result, children can become confused and easily depressed. Disputes between families are hard enough without children developing negative opinions and attitudes about their own parents.
Instead of venting to your children about the state of your marriage or the pending divorce, it is more mature and beneficial to speak with a therapist or counselor about such complex issues. Adult matters should be discussed with adults and should not be placed on the shoulders of those who are ill-equipped to handle them.
Help Your Children Adjust to Change
Even in cases when the children continue to live in the same neighborhood—or the same house—they will still feel that their lives are changing. While this may be an opportunity to learn that change is a necessary part of life, it should not become a catalyst for depression.
Additionally, during and after a divorce, parents should do their best not to disturb a child’s regular routine. Sports, after-school activities, and hobbies should remain steady. This is also an opportune moment for parents to reach out to teachers, coaches, and other involved adults and inform them of the situation—at least to an appropriate degree.
Protect Yourself and Your Children
If you are currently facing a divorce, child support battle, or custody issues, it can be helpful to speak with an experienced and compassionate DuPage County family law attorney. At Abear Law Offices, we care about your situation and want to be there for you when you need us. Call 630-904-3033 for a confidential consultation at any of our five convenient office locations.