Child with a thoughtThe things that occur during a divorce in Utah can affect a child for the rest of their life. As a divorce lawyer in SLC, Utah, David Pedrazas wants to help both the parents and their children get through the process quickly. This can help to free them so they can work on building their children’s lives the right way.
 

How Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers Perceive Divorce

The habits and notions developed by infants and toddlers should have an influence from both parents. Toddlers don’t understand what’s happening, but they’re fully aware something is wrong. This can give a small child anxiety and confusion that turns into behavioral and even developmental problems.

The child shouldn’t have to internalize their parents going through harsh arguments, bouts of anger, and long absences of a parent. Changing the fundamental understanding of their environment requires patience, care, and a dedication to making sure the child is the least affected by the divorce.

Preschoolers often have a greater ability to emotionally understand some of what’s happening. A preschooler is starting to put things together and play around with causality. Unfortunately, they don’t know enough to come to adult conclusions. Instead, young children can assume they’re the cause of the strife.

How Grade Schoolers Perceive Divorce

Building confidence is a key part of these years, and it’s possible to tear that confidence down during a divorce. Of course, parents don’t do this purposefully, but it can still happen. During the grade school years, children also have even more capacity for understanding what’s happening.

Unfortunately, that understanding has flaws, which can lead to harmful conclusions. Unlike the preschool years, those conclusions can have a lot more emotional depth. For example, a child can go from thinking it’s their fault, to thinking one of their parents doesn’t care about them.

All the adult stuff occurring can make a child feel isolated and alone. A child shouldn’t have to choose sides. Both parents must make it abundantly clear they are there and will be there for their child.

How Teenagers Perceive Divorce

Teenagers are going through the wild changes and emotions of adolescence. You can see changes in a teen that point out issues stemming from the divorce. Look for signs such as:

  • Abrupt changes to mood, behavior, and personality
  • Specifically seeking isolation rather than speaking to parents
  • Anger and confrontational behavior

Teenagers can also attempt to shoulder the blame for the divorce. They can feel they’re the reason for it and act accordingly. Alternatively, they can feel the divorce is the reason for their own issues, and rail against that.

Teenagers and young adults tend to internalize the feelings they develop during a divorce. For example, a teen may feel that people they love will always leave them. They can feel as if relationships are pointless because they always end badly. These internalizations can follow them for the rest of their lives.

 How We Can Help Our Children Perceive Divorce Differently

Parents can ease the transition and help children adjust to the new normal while minimizing the impact the divorce will have on their child’s life. A child needs:

  • To maintain a relationship with both parents
  • To have the ability to talk openly with their parents about what’s going on and how they feel
  • To have as little change to their routine as possible

Between the two parents, it’s possible to minimize the divorce’s effect. Working together on what’s best for the child should remain a priority outside of everything else. At the Law Office of David Pedrazas, David is a Salt Lake City, Utah divorce attorney with years of experience, compassionately helping those dealing with divorce and family law issues. Do you know how to help your child through a divorce? Contact us to discuss how. Schedule a free case evaluation by giving us a call at 801-263-7078.

Download PDF