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Parents can lessen negative effects of child custody disputes

Coming to the end of a marriage is never a simple or easy matter, even when both parties are absolutely certain that divorce is the best course of action. For those in Texas who share children, it can be hard to know how to make the process of divorce easier for the younger members of the family. What decades of research has made clear is that divorce and child custody disputes can weigh heavily on children, and can have lasting negative consequences. Fortunately, parents can help reduce the negative impact that their divorce may have on their kids.

Researchers have long known that kids who go through divorce have higher rates of anxiety, depression, problems at school and other social issues as compared with kids who live in intact families. What has recently become clear, however, is that it may not be the divorce itself that leads to issues, but rather how the parents handle their shifting relationship. Those who are able to transition gracefully from spouses to co-parents can make the process far easier on themselves and their children.

What many parents fail to realize is that their kids are paying close attention to their parents during the course of a divorce. That means that parents are modeling dispute resolution, conflict management and how to remain resilient in the face of challenges. Children will learn from those lessons, and will apply that learning to their own struggles, both during childhood and as adults.

Parents in Texas and beyond should make every effort to move through their divorce with as much cooperation and collaboration as possible. Even when it seems like the children are being shielded from the divorce and child custody process, they are absorbing a great deal of information about the change in their family's structure. Modeling positive behaviors can have a lasting impact on how kids move through this time in their lives, and in how they shape their own adult relationships.

Source: Newsweek, "Divorce Effects: Kids Whose Parents Have Bitter Relationships More Likely to be Sickly Adults, Study Finds", Janice Williams, June 6, 2017

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