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How does a high-conflict divorce affect children?

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2022 | family law | 0 comments

When you and your child’s other parent are prone to fighting with one another, your child may feel the effects of the tension. When a high level of contentiousness exists between you and your son or daughter’s mother or father, your child may experience emotional turmoil and stress. This remains true regardless of whether you remain in a marriage or divorce. However, studies suggest high-conflict relationships are even more damaging to children when their parents stay in the marriage despite the turmoil.

Per Psychology Today, while conflicts between parents might affect children of divorce and children whose parents remain in relationships, kids whose fighting parents remain married become more prone to anxiety and depression than kids whose fighting parents divorce.

How conflict impacts kids

Research shows that parental conflicts have an adverse impact on a child’s emotional growth and well-being. If you and your child’s other parent fight on a regular basis, your child becomes more likely to struggle in school. He or she also becomes more likely to seek out dangerous or damaging personal relationships later on. High levels of conflict between parents may also hurt a child’s self-esteem and self-concept.

How to minimize conflict amid divorce

Creating a parenting plan may help you and your child’s mother or father avoid future conflicts. So, too, might agreeing to communicate only in certain ways, such as by email or text message. Choosing certain forms of divorce, such as mediation, may also help make things easier on any children you and your former partner share.

You may also find it beneficial to come up with a set plan for handling future agreements when they arise. For example, maybe you agree to work through future disagreements with the help of an unbiased third party.