As a marriage fades away, most parents find themselves staying together for the children’s sake. For others, divorce is the only way out. Divorce is not only a difficult period for the parents but the children too.
While some children may adapt naturally to the changes that come with divorce, others may find themselves struggling with the transition. After divorce, it is the responsibility of both parents to raise and take care of their children.
Understanding Child Custody
The Vancouver divorce lawyers guide parents by asking for their children’s final custody in court. However, every custody case is different and unique. Here are some top considerations made before giving control to any parent.
- The relationship of the parent and child
- The parents’ lifestyle and general conduct
- The parent’s capability of taking care of the child
- The child’s daily pattern (home, school, church)
- Age of the child and their mental condition
- The child’s quality of education
- The child’s preference if he is mature enough to make his own decision
Some of these considerations may favor one parent more than the other. However, since the child’s interest is critical, the court will reward the parent who can offer a stable environment. When it comes to younger children, custody is primarily directed to the primary caregiver.
Types of Custody Arrangements
There are different types of custody, and they differ according to individual families and their circumstances. If you are going through a divorce, your Vancouver divorce lawyers will guide you on the best custody plan fit for your family.
- Sole Custody- With the sole custody plan, one parent gets to care and make the children’s necessary decisions since that parent will mostly be with the child.
- Joint Custody- In the case of joint custody, both parents get to share the rights and the responsibilities for their children. Both parents are allowed to make the necessary decisions for their children, and the child can live with both parents.
- Shared custody- In a shared custody set-up, both parents are mainly responsible for the children for most of their lives.
- Split custody- This option involves parents with two or more children. One child or more can choose to live with the father, and one or more children can get to live with the mother.
What are the Effects of Divorce on Children?
The divorce process can create a frustrating, confusing and scary environment for the children. Here are some of the most common effects divorce has on children:
- Loss of Interest in Social Activity
Children whose parents are going through a divorce may find it hard to relate to others because they feel insecure. After all, they feel as if divorce has only happened to their family.
- Difficulty Adapting to Change
As a result of the parent’s divorce, children are forced to adapt to change often. Children are exposed to new family dynamics, a new house, new friends, new siblings. All these changes can take a toll on a child’s emotional well-being.
- Poor Academic Performance
Children whose parents have undergone divorce tend to feel confused and distracted with constant thoughts about how things turned out. The distraction causes a severe distraction in children’s schoolwork, reflecting on their academic performance.
- Emotional Sensitivity
Divorce may bring about different types of emotional feelings in children. The transition may bring about feelings of confusion, anger, anxiety, pain, leaving children vulnerable and emotionally sensitive.
- Anger/ Irritability
Since children feel overwhelmed, they may not know how to channel their frustrations. Children whose parents have gone through a divorce may end up feeling angry at their parents, their siblings, their friends, and even at themselves.
- Decrease in Health
The divorce process can be generally painful. As a result of stress on the human body, physical problems may arise. These children may suffer from depression, insomnia, and anxiety. All these factors have a considerable part to play in the deterioration of health.
- Introduction to Destructive Behaviour
Children who have gone through a divorce have higher chances of developing unwanted behavior such as alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, crimes, or destructive behavior.
Their self-esteem and sense of belonging may have been damaged in the divorce period, and the best way to keep their mind busy is by engaging in rowdy activities.
- Feelings of Guilt
Feeling guilty is a common effect of divorce on children. These children will always feel like they are to blame when things go wrong, and they may tend to feel as if they are the cause for divorce.
Feeling guilty can lead to long-term conditions such as depression, anxiety, and pressure. Counseling is the best way of addressing these issues to help children think relieved and reduce stress levels.
- Loss of Faith in Marriage and the Family Structure
Children who have experienced divorce are more likely to divorce when they get into marriages than those who come from non-divorced families. The impact of divorce is so huge that they don’t believe marriage could ever work successfully.
- Mental Health Problems
Divorce may contribute to the rise in mental health issues among children and adolescents. Cases of depression and anxiety are higher among children from divorced parents than those from non-divorced families.
Mental health problems are the leading cause of suicide amongst most people, especially teenagers and young adults.
Divorce may be complicated and tough on most families, but choosing to stay together for the children’s sake is a worse idea. Children exposed to a lot of hostility, arguing, and lack of love are more prone to developing mental issues and behavioral issues.
Vancouver divorce lawyers constantly handle cases of children who have to be separated from one parent to live with the other. The child’s best interest has been put in place before any custody decision can be made.
If both parents can cooperate after separation when raising their kids, their children get to hurt less. For children who are completely overwhelmed by the separation process, getting professional help is the first step to recovery.