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Common Ways That Children React to a Divorce

 Posted on June 02, 2022 in Family Law

Brookfield, Wisconsin Family Law AttorneyWhile your divorce may be the best decision for you and your spouse, children and teens may react in different ways depending on their emotional level, their age, and even the situation in the house at the time of the divorce. Most children will adjust to the new situation over time, but they will still go through a range of emotions and behaviors. Here are some of the more common ways that children will react to the news of their parents’ divorce.

Shock, sadness, and disappointment – Children often feel overcome and blindsided by a divorce. They may get emotional and feel you betrayed them. You can let them know that it is natural to be sad, but reassure them that they will be okay, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

Relief - If your marriage had been rocky and the children were subject to hearing loud arguments on a regular basis, they may feel relieved that they may get a break from a stressful environment.

Regressing – Behavioral regression is normal after a traumatic event, especially among younger kids. They may demonstrate more immature behavior or act more emotionally than usual.

Anger and Acting Out – Your child may be more prone to outbursts as they take the time to process the news of a divorce. They may not have the maturity to handle their emotions and the anger can come out in bursts.

Worry and anxiety – Just like adults, kids will worry when they are faced with the unknown. You can give them reassurances about what will stay the same in their lives while letting them know that even if you don’t have all the answers yet.

Shutting down - Both younger and older children may turn inward and not want to talk about the situation. You can reassure them that it is okay to feel emotional and that you will be there when they are ready to talk.

Parents should work together to assure the children that they are not to blame. If the child’s reaction lasts more than a few months, it may be time to get the professional help of a therapist to help them work through their emotions.

Contact a Waukesha County Divorce Lawyer

At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we know the emotional toll that a divorce can take on every member of your family. If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, our Brookfield, WI family law attorneys are ready to help you through the process. We will work to achieve the best possible outcome. Call us at 262-232-6699 for your free consultation.


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