The Effects of Separation and Divorce on a Family

Divorce and separation affect children’s academic performance. Children in divorced families are prone to poor academic performances due to the distraction caused by their parent’s separation. A divorce may necessitate relocating to another city and changing schools. Such drastic changes distract children from studies, rendering them unable to focus on school work. The thoughts of living without both parents undermine children’s concentration in class. Studies show that separation and divorce are associated with poor academic performances and school dropout.

Separation and divorce affect social development. Children whose parents are divorcing try to isolate themselves to avoid conversations involving parents. They feel embarrassed and ashamed that their parents cannot stay together while their peer’s parents are happy together. The affected children have fewer social contacts at school to help hide the split happening at home. Once parents are divorced, some children may isolate themselves because they do not want a situation requiring them to disclose that their parents are divorced. Furthermore, school transfers and relocations associated with divorce impacts children’s social life by separating them from close friends and familiar surroundings. Such children relocate to a new environment, and it might take time to make new friends.

Courtesy / Zhivko Minkov

Furthermore, separation and divorce negatively impact children’s behavior. Separation causes children to live with one parent at a time, and in some cases, one or both parents are entirely absent. The absence of a father or a mother causes a child to miss moral support and parental guidance, increasing the likelihood of indulging in immoral and unlawful activities. Lack of maternal direction in a girl’s life contributes to early pregnancies, forced marriages, drug use, or prostitution. On the other hand, missing parental guidance in a young man’s life contributes to involvement in crime and drugs. Divorce and separation destabilize families. Children in divorced families lack advice, financial assistance, and emotional support from their parents.

Divorce and separation have an adverse emotional impact on a family. Divorced couples and their children are likely to experience depression, anger, embarrassment, and frustration. For example, a child may feel embarrassed by a father who divorces their mother but marries another woman immediately. Such a child compares their family situation to other stable and happy families, causing them to feel angry and frustrated. Likewise, a man or woman may feel depressed, angry, and embarrassed when their partner initiates a divorce while their friends live happily as a couple. Studies show that divorce and separation decrease affection, pride, and social maturity in a family.

Courtesy / Jen Theodore

Moreover, separation and divorce contribute to drug use and addiction. Some people use substances, including alcohol and cocaine, to cope with stress and depression stemming from separation. Some children in divorced families use and abuse drugs because they are socially isolated and lack healthy resources to prevent them from indulging in drugs. Studies show that drug abuse rates are higher among divorced individuals than in married people. Drug use among adults can lead to job loss. Drug users are prone to job termination due to poor work performance and absenteeism. Lost income creates financial hardships in a family, especially when the terminated person is the primary breadwinner. Children who abuse drugs are likely to drop out of school, leaving them without a solid career path.

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