Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Survey suggests child focus is so crucial during divorce

Often what makes family law matters the most sensitive, emotional and important is the children at the center of the cases. From child custody, child support and other potential disputes during a divorce, kids can definitely be impacted by the strain between their parents.

A recent survey that involved 1,000 adults and 100 kids supports the argument that the well-being of kids must be at the center of any divorce matter. While many parents might hope that their children aren't negatively impacted by their split, the survey suggests otherwise:

  • About 35 percent of kids reported that they felt pressured to take a parent's side during the divorce.
  • About 13 percent placed blame on themselves for their parents' divorce.
  • More than 30 percent of kids reported seeing their parents argue.
  • About 5 percent of children reported that they used drugs or alcohol to try to "cope" with divorce.

The most serious of all the findings is that a reported 6 percent of the children admitted to at least considering suicide. This statistic, as well as the above and other potential effects that a divorce can have on kids, should work to motivate parents to try to make their divorces as non-contentious and respectful as possible.

Some might see the survey findings as scary and reason for couples to stay in their marriages, even if they are unhealthy or unhappy. While choosing to try to work it out might be worthwhile and healthy for some couples and their families overall, that simply isn't the best step for everyone.

What this survey doesn't address is the impact unhappy parents in an unstable marriage might have on children. Divorce might be an official end of a marriage, but it certainly is not the end of a kid's shot at a happy life and family someday.

Source: My Fox Philly, "New Survey Sheds Light On Real Impact Of Divorce," Dec. 30, 2013

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