What Is the Best Age to Get Divorced So As To Protect My Child’s Mental Health?
As attorneys who regularly assist clients with divorce, we often hear concerns about the potential impacts of the divorce on the couples’ children. A number of couples each year wonder if they should stay together until their children are “a little older” in case that would somehow be easier on them.
However, according to new research published in January, divorce actually has less of an impact on children when it is done earlier in childhood; specifically, when children are under the age of seven. In directly comparing children ages three to seven whose parents divorced versus those who did not, researchers essentially found no difference whatsoever when it comes to behavioral and emotional problems. Researchers thus hypothesized that, after the age of seven, children are more sensitive and better able to pick up on particular relationship dynamics.
Interestingly, the study also showed that children from privileged backgrounds were just as likely to develop negative reactions to divorce as those from less advantaged backgrounds, and divorce was also more difficult on mothers when it occurred later in their children’s lives.
Helping Your Individual Child Get through It
Of course, every family is unique, and whether and how a divorce will impact children of course depends upon the particular circumstances of that family and the children’s temperament. Still, there is plenty that parents can do to help get them through the process, regardless of their age, such as:
- Providing regular routines for your children;
- Constantly reminding them that they have your care, stability, and structure;
- Maintaining a civil relationship with your ex/avoiding conflict that your children can pick up on;
- Answering any questions they might have, especially when it comes to any concerns they have about their lives changing in terms of locations, school, friends, holidays, etc.;
- Communicating directly with your ex and avoiding placing your kids in the middle of any conflict that might come up;
- Avoiding engaging in any behavior that could appear to involve poisoning the children against the other parent;
- Staying honest, but also not going into too much detail as to the reasons why you are getting a divorce;
- Reminding your children over and over again that you love them;
- Coordinating with your ex on what you plan to discuss so that you present a united front; and
- Listening to them and encouraging them to share their feelings, encouraging them to be honest;
- Reassuring them that they are not at fault.
Consult Our Experienced Florida Divorce Attorneys
During the difficult process of divorce, you want to ensure that work with an attorney who sticks by your side and provides you with all of the advice you need not only in terms of protecting yourself during divorce, but protecting your loved ones as well. Contact our Orlando divorce attorneys at Arwani Law Firm, PLLC today to find out how we can help.