Divorce – Ever-Increasing Event in Many Relationships

Divorce is an ever-increasing event in many relationships. The widespread impact of divorce cannot be understated. However, research studies on divorce generally focus on its causes, economics and legal ramifications. Rarely is the primary topic of study the impact of divorce on the children of the dissolved marriage. In this paper, I will explore some of the concerns and issues faced by children, particularly young children, of the broken home. Historically, since the 1960’s, the rate of divorce has risen.

In 1972 alone more than a million families have been directly entangled with the unpredictability of divorce. Unfortunately, for the family, the odds greatly increase for a second divorce to take place after the first (Zinsmeister, Karl 1978). Which means even more disruption within the house, which can be especially hard for children to understand on a subsequent occasion of divorce. Children are needy, vulnerable and view their parents as being the almighty. Parents are usually put on a pedestal because kids naturally thrive on the affection, discipline and acceptance of their mother and father.

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It is inescapable that a child’s life will be influenced by life at home, whether positive or negative.“In highly conflictual marriages, divorce may actually improve the emotional well-being of children relative to staying in a conflicted home environment. ” (Jekielek 1998). Divorce can be constructive tool to getting a life on track and getting a family out of misery. It also has been known to instill healthy fear into the children so that they will review their choices cautiously regarding marriage (Dennison and Koerner, 2008).

However the end of the marriage is potentially devastating to the child who often thinks it is his or her fault that their parents no longer love each other. The parents my unwittingly promote this unfortunate belief by making the child a pawn, weapon or object fought over (MacQueen, Ken). This type of solution for an unhappy couple may be the groundwork for a troubled emotional upbringing. Many children would aspire the parents to reevaluate, years later, and their final decision; revisit their motives, and learn to understand the aftermath of divorce.

Unless the non-custodial parent takes special time out for the children, the relationship between the child and that parent will be subjected to pain. The expense of maintaining contact is one of the most common reasons given for lack of contact, in addition to geographical distance and interference with a parent’s new relationship. Furthermore, expert Sociologist Cherli, Andrew mentioned, “For most men, children and marriage are part of a package deal. Their ties to their children depend on their ties to their wives. Evidently, once a caretaker makes the choice to remarry, they are seemingly known to neglect the child even more since the previous divorce. Consequently, if a parent is not the primary guardian, they may tend to malign the other parent in some cases. Judith Wallerstien’s landmark study provides further evidence of the extensive and deleterious ramifications of divorce. More than half of the study population performed badly in preschool and demonstrated increasing emotional instability into adolescence. The group showed signs of bizarre appetite and attention-seeking behavior as much as five years post-divorce.

This study establishes the long-term impact of divorce on the developing child. In another study, Wallerstiens found that two- thirds of the study showed signs of added stress and the other third ended up getting sicker with diagnosed sociological problems.In a recent study, social aspects, poll was taken of ten-divorced families. Nine of the ten children where relinquished to the mother for full custody. Systematically one of the ten only saw the other parent as occasionally as once a week. Interestingly, family court rules and regulations differ from each state.

When parents disengage from their relationship the majority tend to live under the sole custody of their mothers. The probability of the child living with both parents was less than 20%. The state that disapproves of joint custody in divorce is California. This is ironic since California was the very first state to recognize the concept of joint custody. The development of creating the absolute best living environment in the state consisted of joint custody but later was appealed in the court system with enough complaints to overturn such a decision because the hazards’ of a child getting settled in two places.

Most states now employ the analysis of what living arrangement constitutes the Best Interests of the Child, or BIC. Depending on the age of the child, the court may even ask the child if they have a preference on where to live. Obviously, this inquiry can have its own problems, with the parents effectively competing for the child. Professor Jeanne Dise- Lewis assembled a very troubling statistic in 1988. Dise- Lewis interviewed a total of 700 junior high students about what was the most stressful thing they have ever encountered.

Divorce was second on the list right behind the death of a parent. Divorce actually out-ranked the death or loss of a friend and suffering domestic violence. (Zinsmeister, Karl). A full decade after the divorce 45% of the children were doing well 14% were average and 41 % struggled with the effect divorce has had in their life. The group of the young adults were also followed into adulthood and indicated they were overwhelmed with the prospect of their own failing marriage because of there parents. “Many expressed a sense of powerlessness, neediness, and vulnerability. Wallerstein’s study was conducted in middle class white suburban neighborhoods. Therefore, the negative impact and prevalence of divorce would not seem to be limited to any particular race, location or economic strata. Wallerstien concluded, “It would be hard to find any other group of children—except, perhaps, the victims of a natural disaster – who suffered such a rate of sudden serious psychological problems. ” As the children aged, their difficulties and problems were often reported to persist (Zinsmeister, Karl).

The parents will suffer the financial difficulties, which will affect the amount spent on the children especially in middle class families. Again studies have supported evidence that kids have a slower start in their academic success. An educated parent will be known to exhaust all the options before making the final decision. Interestingly, many of the parents in the Wallerstien’s study were educated. The argument advanced by the study’s author is that a parent’s satisfaction with divorce does not necessarily extend to the child.

In fact, the opposite is equally likely to be true because the child has different needs from their parents (MacQueen, Ken). Many of the statistics from successful marriages argue that people adapt to their surroundings and if one marries they take vows and they should adapt. This applies to life in general and to people who are satisfied with their accomplishments and station. Throughout life we need to adapt to change and overcome adversity. Divorce is too often taken as the first option when difficulties arise, rather than the path of last-resort.

Many people want the easy way out, I can understand that. The developmental years for a child is critical and making sense of two worlds is hard to stay organized. If they are to adapt to divorce they will have to become equipped to overcome the negative aspects. The probability is against kids to succeed and achieve the standards of other children or young adults. Guiduubaldi states, “the old argument of staying together for the sake of the kids is still the best argument . . . People simply aren’t putting enough effort into saving their marriages. A University of Hawaii poll interpreted divorce to be unfortunately less threatening but still the majorities are affected for life. This particular small study 18 % dealt with it and moved on, 12% to go off the deep end with awful behavioral issues. The reaming 70% incorporated depressive, possessive, and aggressive shortcomings.  The national survey of children, kids across the nation are twice as likely to repeat a grade and 5 times more prone to getting suspended than the average student (Zinsmeister, Karl).

Generally, boys seem to have greater difficulty adjusting to life after divorce on some levels. For example, young males may demonstrate an increase in self-sufficiency but a lack of empathy, consistent with “toughness” expected in men. Also according to Wallerstein, younger females upon early adulthood often become sexually active and interested in older men, perhaps in an unconscious effort to replace the absent father figure (Zinsmeister, Karl). “In highly conflictual marriages, divorce may actually improve the emotional well-being of children relative to staying in a conflicted home environment. (Jekielek 1998) Divorce can be constructive tool to getting a life on track and getting a family out of misery. It also has been known to instill healthy fear into the children so that they will review their choices cautiously regarding marriage. (Dennison and Koerner, 2008) In conclusion divorce is becoming a epidemic. Almost one half of all marriages end up in divorce. Unlucky kids cannot pick their parents and half of the kids affected by divorce stumble upon unwanted added stress.

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Divorce – Ever-Increasing Event in Many Relationships. (2016, Oct 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/divorce-ever-increasing-event-in-many-relationships/