Divorce will affect children in New Jersey in various ways. Some children recover relatively quickly from the experience while others may have long-term issues. If there was a lot of conflict at home between their parents, some children may actually feel more relief than anything else once the divorce finally happens. It is important for parents to be sensitive to their children’s reactions.
Age of the children
Another factor that affects how children may react to divorce is their age. Teenagers may lash out angrily while very young children may suffer from separation anxiety. A common worry among children is that the divorce was their fault, and parents must reassure them that this is not the case.
Divorce usually causes at least some upheaval in a child’s life, which may involve moving to a new home and, possibly, a new school. Some parents may try to help their children adjust better with a “nesting” custody arrangement. This involves having the children go on living in the family home while the parents take turns staying there with them. However, this can be financially, emotionally and logistically challenging, so it is usually not a long-term solution.
Children may have a lower standard of living after divorce. Divorce could also affect their bond with one parent if the child does not see that person often. At the same time, the stress of single parenthood may strain the child’s bond with the custodial parent.
When negotiating child custody and visitation, parents may want to think about how they can best mitigate some of these effects. This may be easier if they can reach an agreement through negotiation with a family law attorney instead of going to court. If they do have to go through litigation, a judge will use the standard of what is in the child’s best interests to determine the custody arrangement.