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The effect of divorce on children

Posted on Thursday, 6th February 2014 by

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A survey by Netmums shows that the effects of divorce on children can often be far more severe than parents realise.


Significant effects were listed as the following:

  • A third of the children described themselves as devastated by their parents break up
  • 1 in 12 children felt their parents had let them down or did not love them
  • One fifth of the children had turned to drink to cope
  • 1 in 9 children had self harmed
  • 6% of the children had considered suicide
  • A quarter of the children said they never see their father


It is common knowledge that divorce can be difficult for children, however many parents do not realise just how difficult. In the above survey 13% of the children blamed themselves for their parents break up, but just 5% of parents recognised this was the case. Further 4 out of 5 parents felt their children had coped well with their parents’ separation but only a third of children agreed with this. It was also found that children were three times more likely to have seen their parents arguing than the parents realised.


It is agreed by most experts that children who experience divorce are better off than those living in a household with constantly arguing unhappy parents. However children need more support than they are currently receiving and parents need to try and ensure that their children do not feel stuck in the middle or pick up on the animosity between them. More than a third of children in this survey felt one parent tried to turn them against the other and this behaviour will increase the above effects on children.


If your new years resolution was to separate then now is a good time to do so, but there are ways to make sure your children do not suffer the above. There are plenty of organisations which can help, for example Relate offers a separated parents information programme which can help reduce the effects on children. If you are considering separation come and talk to our family team to discuss the options for a non-acrimonious divorce.

Faye Remnant is part of our Family Law team based in Loughborough; our Solicitors in Loughborough are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Loughborough please contact us.

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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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