Children and Divorce
Divorce can be traumatic. It brings several types of emotions to a family and the children such as feelings of loss, anger and anxiety. Research has shown that children struggle the most after divorce.
Divorce can be difficult for parents and impact children adversely but factors that influence the well-being of children after separation are within the parents’ control.
Consequences of Divorce for Children
Divorce has a negative impact on children’s behaviour, education and mental health. Children and adolescents from divorced or separated families may experience problems such as conduct disorders, delinquency, impulsive behaviour and more conflicts with peers. It compromises their emotional and relational stability and adversely affects their academic performance.
A child is at greater risk of increased behaviour problems, developing violent and antisocial behaviour. Studies show that children experience high levels of anxiety, depression and antisocial behaviour even before the marital breakups of parents. For this reason, parents experiencing problems in their marriage should protect their children’s health and avoid fighting in front of them.
What Divorcing Parents Need To Do
Parents who have decided to divorce can sort out their parenting issues before they commence divorce proceedings. You can put emotions aside and work together to settle disagreements regarding your children and make parenting arrangements appropriate to the needs of your children. This will enable both parents be involved in the lives of their children and ensure their well-being after they divorce.
If emotions are too intense and you find it difficult reaching agreement on your own, you can make use of mediation assisted by a neutral third party mediator.
The process helps couples who want to divorce meet with a trained, neutral mediator to resolve the issues in your divorce. The mediator helps divorcing spouses sort out issues regarding child custody, parenting schedules and child support.
Parents work out arrangements for the children before filing for a divorce assisted by the mediator, come to an agreement and create a parenting plan to present in court.
After relationship breakdown, discussion about future care of children can become very difficult and emotional. Parents can use a more formal mediation process to resolve issues that affect their children. The mediator helps them create an agreement tailored to the needs of their family.
The Benefits of Mediation
Mediation helps parents manage emotions and put the needs and well-being of their children before anything, anger, resentment or hurt.
They learn to stop fighting, manage conflict and focus on the best interest of their children.
They develop good co-parenting relationship knowing that quality parenting provided over time and the quality of parent-child relationship mitigate potential serious outcomes for the children.