Children of divorce are not as unique as they used to be. Today, it seems like children whose parents are still together are the exception. And yet, there are a number of statistics out there surrounding children of divorce, family law, and other matters regarding children that will likely surprise at least a few people.
Every state has its own statistics and factors involved in determining what happens to children of divorce. And yet, it seems like every state seems to have missed the mark in one way or another at some point. Check out the following statistics to learn more.
Children of Divorce: By the Numbers
Children that come from divorce are 35% more likely to go through divorce themselves.
To a certain extent, children mimic what they see, even if subconsciously. The science behind it isn’t exactly known, but the proof is there—more than 1/3 of all children of divorce are automatically going to face their own simply because of where they come from.
As many as 50% of all U.S. children will witness their parents’ marriage end.
Half of the kids in the country are going to watch their parents’ marriages fail. They’re going to see the signs. They’re going to catch the fights and the mumbled insults. They’re going to notice that things are not okay, and ultimately, they are going to become a product of divorce.
Less than 30% of all custodial fathers are paid child support.
Compared to 79% of mothers who receive support, that’s quite a difference. Fathers are treated differently in the family courts to this day, even if it’s not a conscious notion, and the statistics prove it. This could also be due to the sole income earner being the father in many marriages.
Children that experience their parents’ divorce will have 50% more health problems than those who don’t.
Divorce takes a toll, including on the physical health and well-being of the family. Whether it’s due to depression, a lack of activity, anxiety, or any other circumstances, it’s been proven that kids who come from divorce are sicker than those who don’t.
Teens that come from blended families and single-parent homes are 300% more likely to require a psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor.
Psychological problems tend to get even worse for teens who are faced with blending into a new family or living in a single-parent household. In the latter situation, some teens take on more responsibility than anticipated, which can increase anxiety and stress, cause a loss of “childhood,” and so forth.
You can find tons of statistics out there about children and divorce, including how children of divorce are affected by the entire process. It all points to one thing: divorce is hard on kids, and parents need to be aware of that, as do educators, peers, professionals, and others.
Children of divorce also:
- Drop out of high school twice as often
- Get lower grades than peers who don’t come from divorce
- Are more likely to require psychological help than those who lose a parent to death
- Are twice as likely to attempt (or commit) suicide
- Are 20% less healthy than their peers
- Are more likely to experience physical health issues (speech issues, injuries, asthma, etc.) than children who have married parents
There are things that you can do to mitigate issues and help your children get on a better path after divorce, even if you’re not sure exactly how to combat these issues head-on.
For starters, it’s important to talk to children throughout the divorce process and make sure that they understand what’s going on, they don’t feel like it’s their fault, and they know that in the end, what’s being done is for everyone’s best interests. The more informed and involved kids are along the way, the more likely they are to have a better understanding (and perhaps an appreciation for avoiding) of the divorce process.
Divorce Affects Physical and Mental Health
The important thing, for parents, is to remember that divorce can lead to physical and mental health issues for children. Their age at the time of divorce, combined with other extenuating circumstances and life factors at that point can ultimately determine which issues plague them most, but any number of things can happen. Kids can gain weight. They might lose a lot of weight. Perhaps they suddenly develop food sensitivities or struggle with depression after the divorce.
What’s important is to keep an eye out for these issues and to be open and honest with kids about what’s going to happen. Explain to them that they may have certain emotional or physical responses, and that’s okay. Let them know that they can come to you with concerns or even if they just want to talk. Supporting them is the best way to ensure that they have the best chances of coming out of the divorce largely unscathed.
If you notice your son put on a few pounds, don’t berate him or make a joke about him being chunky—check in and ask him how he’s doing with everything. Let him know this is a tumultuous time and it’s okay for things like this to happen, so long as they don’t become the norm.
Protect Your Children and Yourself with a Divorce Lawyer
In addition to having open communication and checking on your children, hiring the right divorce lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of your split and how it impacts the kids. A reputable lawyer can help you explain things to the kids and even include them in the process where it is relevant, such as in matters of custody with older kids. They will help you understand what’s normal, how to handle things, and how to ensure that your kids don’t become just another statistic of divorce. To learn more, contact Modern Law today.