Divorce negatively impacts children of any social or economic status. The divorce process can be adversarial with children stuck in the middle of what feels like a crisis. However, it appears that divorce can impact children in more far-reaching ways than originally thought.
Everyone has heard that children are emotionally affected when there is a divorce. Now, there are some interesting new studies that say that divorce does not affect all children equally.
How Divorce Affects Children
Divorce negatively impacts every family member involved. While almost half of marriages end in divorce, it is still a stressful time. Divorce can have long-lasting consequences for the children involved.
Interestingly, new research shows that children from wealthier families are more adversely affected in terms of education following a divorce.
Predictability of Divorce
The research was conducted on the premise that some couples are more likely to divorce than others.
Certain factors were found to determine the likelihood of whether a marriage may end in divorce including:
- whether it is the first marriage between the spouses,
- if a child was planned,
- if the mother grew up in a single-parent family, and
- if there are inflexible work hours.
These don’t always mean a marriage will end in divorce. However, they tend to be huge factors.
How Divorce Hurts Wealthier Kids’ Education More
Taking the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, researchers then went on to examine the outcomes of divorce in different areas of society.
These recent studies show that children from more stable homes are more negatively impacted by divorce. While struggling families still have challenges when it comes to the effects of divorce on children, the overall impact is less.
A University of California study found a divorce may shorten the academic careers of wealthy children. It also found that these children have an increased negative effect than from lower-income families.
Jeannie E. Brand, professor of sociology and statistics at UCLA, and lead researcher of the study stated that the more a divorce was unlikely or unexpected, the more disruptive it became on a child’s education.
The study examined thousands of children in different demographic sectors. It cross-referenced that information to the educational outcomes of children from divorced families.
If a family is particularly poor or full of dysfunction, a divorce can actually help children do better in school. The counterpart to that does not hold true.
If a family is well-established, well-educated, well-planned, and wealthy, a divorce can have a negative impact on the children. For these families, divorce has much more devastating consequences when it comes to the children’s academics.
Differences in Graduation Rates
The research found that there was a difference in graduation rate of children from families who were less likely to divorce, but did.
Children from families that were unlikely to divorce were 6% less likely to graduate from high school, and 15% less likely to go to college.
If a child was in a family that already had a high-risk of divorce possibility, a divorce had little impact on their graduation rate. It has had little to no impact on their likelihood of going to college after a divorce.
Researchers believe this may be because these children were already in difficult environments. As a result, the divorce did not make their home life less stable.
The Impact on Children
Ultimately, this data proves that children from all walks of life are negatively affected by divorce. Children in high-conflict situations do better after the divorce. Yet, the opposite is true of those children who never anticipated or expected divorce to occur.
It appears that the environment that is created for a child after divorce is extremely important to their academic success.
These statistics prove that the more amicable a divorce is, the better the children will be after the divorce is over. Getting divorced always involves more than just splitting finances. When children are involved, their best interests must be paramount.
Before, during, and after your divorce, you must ensure that your children are emotionally stable and that their needs are met. An experienced divorce attorney will help provide resources for your entire family. Contact an experienced divorce attorney today to help you understand your legal rights.