What Do Children Think About Divorce?

Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How can an attorney help me with my Divorce or Separation in North Carolina?”


A recent survey conducted by a British family law organization, Resolution, shed light on the divorce process by revealing some interesting statistics. Importantly, and unusually, the survey did not focus on the adults, but instead surveyed children, asking them their thoughts on divorce and ideas about what parents can do to make the process easier on the kids. Specifically, the group focused on hundreds of young people between the ages of 14 and 22 whose parents had gone through a divorce. To find out more about what the survey revealed about children and divorce, keep reading.


Father son playing Charlotte Divorce Law Firm Mecklenburg Child Custody LawyerDon’t stay together for their sake


Many parents fear that divorce is the worst thing that could happen to their kids and, as a result, fight mightily to remain together. Though this is honorable and often done for the right reasons, the survey shows that young people don’t wish for this. Instead, a massive 82 percent say that they would prefer it if their parents would divorce than remain together and be unhappy. Not only was it better for the parents in the end, but the children also benefited, understanding that it was ultimately for the best. The survey concluded that staying together for the sake of the children is a bad thing and that it’s better to leave a marriage early than it is to cling to an unhappy relationship and ultimately divorce on bad terms.


Don’t put them in the middle


The vast majority of those surveyed, a whopping 88 percent, said that it is very important to be sure that children do not feel that they are forced to choose between parents. Kids love their parents, both of them, and any attempt to pit them against one parent or the other will dramatically increase the stress and anxiety surrounding a divorce. Though you may be tempted to bad mouth the other parent, resist the urge and take precautions to avoid it. When asked what they would most like to change about a divorce, nearly one third of those surveyed said they wished their parents had not criticized each other in front of them. Another 30 percent said they wished their parents understood how difficult it was to be caught in the middle.


Communication is key


The biggest takeaway from the survey is that children crave open and honest communication. More than 60 percent of those surveyed said that they felt their parents had not included them in the decision-making process and that they wish they had gotten to offer input about custody issues or living arrangements. Divorce can be a scary thing for adults and is especially anxiety producing in children. Parents need to be emotionally and physically present, reassuring kids that everything will be all right in the end. Parents should also work to involve children in the divorce as much as is appropriate given their age and the particular circumstances of the split.


If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, then you need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.



About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A certified Family-Law Specialist, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state and administrative courts in North Carolina, before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.








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