Heart & Mind:  Children & Divorce

QUICK TAKES: Q & A

By Richard A. Shulman, Ph.D.

Question: 
When is the best time for me to get a divorce? Should I wait for my child to get older so that he can understand why I'm choosing this option?

Answer:
There is no easy answer for this question. You need to be the judge.

Data shows that children who grow up in a hostile, aggressive, conflict filled, and stressful environment may be worse off than children who grow up in a stable divorced or stable single parent home. Regardless of the age of your child, he will have obstacles to overcome. 

  • Typically, younger children (ages three to six) tend to blame themselves and feel responsible for their parents' divorce. 
  • Seven to 12 year olds show a decrease in school performance. 
  • Adolescents typically feel they could have prevented the divorce and are also critical of and feel hurt by their parents.

 The good news is that within a few years, 67% of all children adjust well to their new environment. 

Bio and more articles by Richard A. Shulman, Ph.D.

This Article Common Questions About Divorce was written by Richard A. Shulman, Ph.D.