Divorce and Its Effects on Children and Society
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Divorce is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a person. The only more stressful single event is a death. It can be very difficult to cope with the feelings your parents’ divorce produces in you. No one plans on a divorce. When people marry, they want it to be forever. But for whatever reason, more and more often these days marriages are ending in divorce. And many of these marriages leave children to deal with the effects of their parents’ decision. If your parents are getting divorced or have gotten divorced, you are probably still trying to cope with the pain.
You may have a lot of leftover feelings you don’t even realize are there. And you may have many questions about why this happened to your family. Often a divorce seems like the end of the world. Your life changes suddenly and drastically and you can’t change it back. You may feel out of control; after all, you didn’t make the decision to get a divorce. You might feel that the hurt and pain that almost always accompany a divorce will never go away. However, things will get better. Your family life will never be the way it used to be, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be bad.
You can create a new home for yourself. And in time that hurt and pain will go away. People approaching divorce often ask their lawyers, “How much alimony do I have to pay? ” ” How much child support will I owe? ” “How long will I have to pay? ” “How much of my pension does she get? ” With very few exceptions, the lawyers cannot give very precise answers. Either both parties will negotiate a settlement between themselves or a judge will determine the conclusion for them. In most states there are now formal guidelines that the court must follow in awarding child support.
But in most states, and on most issues, judges are unfettered to implement their own discretion after hearing evidence, and this discretion extends even to child support guidelines. Often, divorce comes about when a couple no longer understands each other. It is potential trouble when a spouse has forgotten a partner’s favourite dish or likes and dislikes, or simply does not recognise issues that make the partner anxious. Most couples keep separate calendars, which unintentionally exclude each other from their activities. In these hectic times, doing things individually are commonplace.
This warns of a possible breakdown of communications ahead between both parties. People nowadays put careers, children, hobbies, volunteer work etc ahead of their relationships, hence putting their marriage at stake. Co-operation and commitment promote family unity and ensure a happy marriage. The key for marriage bonds to remain strong is to practise effective communication. Families who are able to cope effectively with stress seem to have a problem-solving style based on affirming communication. These families talk things through calmly until they reach a solution.
They respect other family members’ feelings taking care not to hurt each other and taking time to hear what each person has to say. These families end conflict on a positive note. The risk of divorce occurring is thus reduced. Couples need to understand that their actions will, in some way or another, affect the growth and development of their children. As parents they have to be more effectively involved in the education of their children. Education systems everywhere are moving to collaborative models where all groups who are affected by educational decisions participate in making them.
Studies have shown that children can help save a marriage on the rocks. When parents are trained to work with their children, not only does student performance and behaviour improve significantly, but parents develop more positive attitudes about school and school staff, help garner support in the community, and even seek more education for themselves. This will strengthen family bonds as well as inculcate family values in both parents and children. Ultimately it is the children who will be the ones to suffer most if divorce takes place.
Many changes will take place and one of the most immediate ones a child has to face when his parents gets a divorce is his/her new Single-parent home. In a divorce, usually one parent gets custody of the children. That is, the children live with only one of their parents, and that parent has the responsibility of taking care of them. Usually, children live with one parent and the other has visitation rights. These state how often a parent can visit the children. Visitation rights are usually given to the parent by a judge.
Often the kids do the visiting, by going to stay with one parent on weekends, for example. If a child stays with only one of his parents, he/she probably won’t see the other one very often any more. The child may feel deserted by the parent he/she doesn’t live with anymore. If that parent does not make an effort to get in touch with the child, he/she may feel that that parent does not love him/her. The child may even be led to believe that he/she is to blame for the cause of their parents’ divorce. The typical reactions among children involved in a divorce are grief, denial, anger, depression and acceptance.
Some children grief for the loss of the family they have known and the daily presence of the two parents familiar in their daily life while others attempt to convince themselves that the divorce is not really happening, that the problem will go away. Yet too there are those who develop anger against the parents for what they perceive as betrayal by those they love deeply and who, they believe, should be able to keep the family intact. Few grow to accept the change for a different life, sinking into a state of depression.
The emotional well being of the child is affected as a result. Finally, divorce also exerts an impact on society and these remain a threat to the future generation. Due to the rise of divorces over the years, many begin to have an idea that marriages do not last long. The impression of life-long marriages is fast fading away. The fear of divorce is one of the reasons why many potential couples are not settling down when they reach marriageable age. This will not only hamper the growth of society but also destroy the concept that love eventually leads to marriage.