How will divorce affect my children?

When considering divorce and separation, many parents are understandably concerned about the potential impact on their children. Many worry that divorce will damage their offspring. Yet, living in a toxic environment with parents who are constantly arguing and upsetting each other can be just as stressful for children.


How divorce can affect children

In a practical sense, when a couple separate, children may have to cope with losing their home, changing schools, living in reduced financial circumstances, and not seeing one of their parents as regularly as they may like.

This can lead to a myriad of emotions including feelings of loss, anger, confusion, anxiety, and in some instances, relief. They may feel torn between their feelings for each parent and even feel guilty, believing that the split is somehow linked to their behaviour.

Do let your children’s school know of the situation, because these emotions can affect their schoolwork and lead to anti-social behaviour.


What can parents do to help?

It’s important to remember that in the long term most children adjust to their parents’ separation and divorce. However, during the early days when feelings are running high, there are several ways in which parents can help their children.

These include:


Let children talk about their feelings and empathise with them. Never judge them for how they may feel and try to always give them the space to express difficult emotions.


Reassure children of your love and ensure they understand that the decision to split is not their fault.


Try to keep as close to their normal routine as possible to minimise the disruption to their lives.

Positive co-parenting

It’s important for both parents to maintain a positive role in their children’s lives. Avoid blaming conversations, asking a child to take sides, or using a child as a weapon to hurt or spy on your ex-partner.


Do protect children from adult and legal conversations and concerns.

Making time

Make time for your child and if possible, plan some enjoyable trips and activities to distract them from how they’re feeling.

Given time, most children will adapt, but if you feel that your child is not coping with the separation it is wise to seek professional help from a GP or school counsellor.



For those thinking about divorce of separation, we offer a no obligation 60-minute initial consultation for £50 (incl. VAT). This meeting will give you an insight into how the law applies to your specific circumstances and can be done in person at our offices in Haywards Heath or over a video call.

To book a consultation, please call 01444 472700, email or complete the form below.


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