Divorce Effects on Children Essay

Marriage and family are considered important social institutions in most societies. However, despite their importance, divorce has become more commonplace in modern societies as couples separate in pursuit of happiness, freedom, or even personal safety.

Unfortunately, this separation often comes at a significant cost for those involved. Further, the situation is far worse for children, most of who are forced to contend with emotional distress, financial instability, and increased difficulties in handling their school work.

Emotional distress is one of the most immediate and probably most notable effects that divorce has on children. In this respect, divorce is characterized by numerous ambiguous changes at the homestead level (Seltzer, 1994). For instance, children who were previously exposed to parental care from both parents are left with no option other than to contend with having only their mothers’ or fathers’ care (Seltzer, 1994). Additionally, the parent who chooses to keep the children may be forced to relocate to new neighborhoods, thus exposing their children to a new environment, which may not necessarily match that which they were used to. Further, following their divorce, parents may choose to divide children among themselves, thus resulting in sibling separation (Seltzer, 1994). Unfortunately, all the above unprecedented changes may take a psychological toll on children and drive them into emotional distress. Additionally, it could make them sink into depression or develop stress, which could consequently affect their overall health and wellbeing.

Separation by divorce often exposes children to difficult economic times that consequently make it difficult for them to live normal lives. Ideally, parents are the direct providers to their children. For this reason, their combined effort is instrumental in ensuring that they supply their children with all the goods and services that they require for them to lead a good life. However, divorce makes it increasingly difficult for parents to partner or work together to guarantee their children’s financial welfare (Leopold & Kalmijn, 2016). Worse still, parents who choose to remarry after divorcing their partners are soon torn between providing for the children they had in their previous relationships or those they sire in their new marriages Separation by divorce often exposes children to difficult economic times that consequently make it difficult for them to leave desirable lives (Leopold & Kalmijn, 2016). Ultimately, most children who find themselves in this unfortunate situation end up lacking life’s necessities such as proper shelter, clothing, education, and limited access to healthcare, thus significantly jeopardizing their wellbeing.

Finally, divorce has a far-reaching effect on children’s academic performance. With its negative emotional and economic effects on victims, children who find themselves engulfed in this situation find it difficult to maintain high concentration levels at school (Houseknecht & Hango, 2006). Further, their abilities to develop and maintain good relationships with their peers are greatly inhibited as they slowly develop hatred and desperation that plays a major role in distancing them from their peers (Houseknecht & Hango, 2006). As a result, they gravitate toward negative behavior and rebel attitudes, both of which limit their academic success.

Though unfortunate, divorce cases are quite prevalent in modern-day societies. As expected, this separation of couples results in broken families and directly affects members of the nuclear family. However, the negative effects that divorce has on children stand out most, especially since most children end up bearing significant consequences of issues that are beyond their control. As demonstrated above, divorce makes children develop emotional distress, financial difficulties, and increased difficulties in handling their school work, thus jeopardizing their welfare.

Houseknecht, S. K., & Hango, D. W. (2006). The impact of marital conflict and disruption on children’s health. Youth & Society, 38(1), 58–89.
Leopold, T., & Kalmijn, M. (2016). Is divorce more painful when couples have children? Evidence from long-term panel data on multiple domains of well-being. Demography, 53(6), 1717–1742.
Seltzer, J. A. (1994). Consequences of marital dissolution for children. Annual Review of Sociology, 20, 235–266.

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