How does divorce impact children?

No matter how polite or amicable you make your divorce, it can still impact the children. Children naturally become anxious and are concerned about their own welfare, especially if they’ve seen their parents argue or have witnessed Domestic Violence or verbal abuse.

The most common signs to look for in children experiencing a divorce are:

Low Grades (Poor Academics) When experiencing many changes at home children can become distracted and under perform at school. Teachers usually pick up on this early and can reach out to you if this becomes an issue. You may want to alert the child’s teachers when a divorce is happening so they can be on alert of any behavioral changes.

Loss of interest This is particularly easy to detect with extroverted children. Kids will want to stay home more or will not be excited by activities that previously made them happy.

Anger / Irritability Especially with teenagers, children might become easy to become angered or to explode. Keep a close eye with this since aggressiveness or destructive behaviors can become closely related if not correctly addressed.

Regression This is very common in toddlers. Potty training or sleep routines may be affected by the changes at home. It’s a sign of anxiety by the child so pay attention.

Don’t forget that in all this, your kids need you, so take care of yourself. See a therapist with divorce experience, lean on friends and family, and join online or in-person support groups.

Divorce can cause trauma, but so can an unsafe home environment. If you’re wondering if you should stick it out until your kid is 18, ask yourself:

  • Is it healthy for you and your children?
  • Is reconciliation possible?
  • Are you and your partner open to marriage counseling?

If the answer is “no” to these questions, remember that kids are resilient, and sometimes the best solution is to part ways and commit to a that restores harmony as much as possible. You deserve to be happy today.

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google