How Do Children Of Different Ages React To Divorce

How do children of different ages react to divorce?

Going through a divorce is challenging enough for the adults involved, but if there are children in the family, the aftermath can be even worse. While all children are unique and each reacts to a divorce in one’s own way, there are some general things you can be on the look out for depending on the age of your child.

Babies and very young children often transition the best of any age groups, at least initially. As long as there is plenty of access to both parents and a consistent schedule, there may be very little issues at first. However, this doesn’t mean there won’t be acting out behaviors or plenty of questions down the road. It’s important to be lulled into a false sense of security with your child’s reaction to the divorce and to still be on the look out for any questions or emotional changes.

School-age children maybe overly emotional or experience regression in behaviors during and after a divorce. Children of this age still depends on adults for almost all of their physical and emotional needs, and a shake up in the family at this age can make a child become even more dependent or clingy.

Teens and adolescents often have the opposite reaction. By this age, the child is already starting to exert some independence and create a world outside of the family. A divorce at this time may accelerate this normal part of development, which can create negative behaviors or cause a sudden unwillingness to cooperate with requests.

While it probably won’t completely eliminate issues with children of any age, peaceful coparenting can make the transition easier for everyone. If you have questions about how to develop a parenting arrangement in the best interests of your child, a New Jersey family law attorney can help.

Source: Psychology Today, “The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents,” Carl E Pickhardt Ph.D., accessed April 20, 2016


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