Understanding The Psychological Effects of Divorce on Children

Divorce on Children is always difficult. After all, they go from having two parents to just one in a heartbeat. While children are generally very switched on and they will have picked up on parents constantly arguing, that doesn’t mean they will be expecting or ready for you to announce you’re separating.

Instead, they will suddenly lose a parent and only be able to see them at specific times. Understanding why this has happened and not blaming themselves is difficult. This is especially true if you never talk to them about the situation. That’s why, before you decide to separate or divorce, you should consult the specialists in family law Sydney. They assist with negotiating and mediation to avoid separation as the only answer.

More importantly, children can be introduced to the concept that you’re struggling as a couple and are doing what you can to resolve the issues.

Separation & Children



Most children feel angry, helpless, become more anxious, and may even deny the separation. However, over time most children also accept the fact and seem to be comfortable with the new lifestyle. That doesn’t mean to say they don’t have psychological scars.

These are more evident in children that can’t accept the divorce and never seem to return to normal.

  • Love

The first issue is particularly relevant for young children. They have a limited understanding of love and, therefore, will question if a parent can stop loving the other parent, will they also stop loving you? This creates anxiety as they will be concerned they will no longer be loved.

In the long-term this can make it hard for children to form emotionally attachments with others or accept and trust that someone loves them.

  • Blame

You may be surprised at how many children blame themselves. This is often because they see themselves as the source of the issues and therefore the reason the divorce happened.

  • Anger


It is also common for children to experience anger, especially if they perceive one parent as being responsible for the divorce. The process always causes upheaval and a change in circumstances which can be disturbing for a child, especially if they have to move and leave friends behind. It results in blame and anger.

This will increase the likelihood of bad behaviour and an inability to distinguish right and wrong.

Preventing & Dealing With Issues

Although your marriage is a private affair, if you’re arguing or considering separating you should talk to your children. This gives you the opportunity to remind your children they are loved and that the problems are not their fault. You are simply two adults that are facing issues and have decided that you are better off without each other.

Reassuring your children and reminding them they are loved as often as possible will help them to feel safe through the transition. This reduces the likelihood of psychological issues in your child.

The key is to ensure your child is aware of what is going on. If the divorce is expected they are less likely to experience any issues, psychological or otherwise.



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