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Effects of Divorce on Children Argumentative Essay

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Updated: Dec 22nd, 2019


Divorce is the act of dissolving or terminating a marriage between two people before the death of one partner thus rendering the marriage null and void. Divorce frees one of legal responsibilities and duties that he/she was previously bound to by the union of marriage. It also frees one of marriage with another person. Divorce in the society happens for different reasons depending on the individual cases.

Different authorities that have a legal authority to allow the dissolution of the marriage (Isle, 2012, Para. 4) carry out the process. These authorities might be religious, government arms, or traditional settings depending on the laws of marriage to which the partners subscribed. As the paper reveals, regardless of the reason behind any divorce case, the children of the divorced parents feel a remarkable effect.

Effects of divorce on children

The effects that children have after a divorce may be psychological, social, and or emotional because each divorce case tends to be unique in its own way though divorces can be grouped into different broad categories: at fault divorce, no fault divorce, summary divorce, uncontested divorce, collaborative divorce, and mediated divorce.

Specific reasons that might come under the above broad groups may include unfaithfulness in marriage, lack of commitment in marriage by one or both partners, irreconcilable differences, abusive marriage, distance, and a partner developing interest in getting married to a different person (Amato, 2003, p. 605).

At the end of the day, divorce has its own effects towards the divorcing couples and the people around them especially their families and children.

When a divorce happens to a couple who have children, it stops being an issue concerning two people only. It becomes an issue concerning them and their children because, in society, children’s interest and wellbeing are paramount and hence a responsibility of any person with a legal age.

When a divorce happens between a married couple with children, the interest of the children have to be secured as provided for by the law so that they do not end up suffering as a consequence of the divorce.

Though the wellbeing of children seem secured, in case of a divorce, children tend to be affected in different ways both negatively and positively because it always has psychological effects on them. The extent of the impact of a break up on a kid will at times relate with the age of the kids at the time of the separation.

For instance, though a toddler may not comprehend the issues going on then, they tend to sense it within their parents, “as their parents’ energy levels and mood tend to shift” (Douglas, 2005, p.49). This leads to the infants’ reaction in different ways based on their instincts that may be observed. There might be a change in the sleeping patterns of the baby as well as their eating habits.

The baby might become so fussy with lots of mood swings, which were unusual to the baby before. Regression can also be viewed in the baby with the baby unlearning the skills it had acquired before. Either the baby may become slow in gaining weight, cutting the gained weight, or stagnating. The baby may also be slow in development (Douglas, 2005, p.50).

For the best welfare of the child, the parents should try as much as possible to maintain the previous routine between them and the child so as not to upset the balance in the child’s life.

Divorce happening to parents with pre-school children tends to affect the children in such a way that they will always feel it as if it their mistake led to their parents’ moving apart. This leads to their feeling insecure by always wanting to be around an adult and not wanting to be left alone.

They have the fear that they might be abandoned. They develop a friendly nature. They also tend to become angered by small things, which can be attributed to mood swings. In some instances, kids who had stopped wetting beds will start again (Temke, 2006, p. 2). All these are psychological, and are often due to their searching for the answer as to why daddy no longer lives with mummy.

A divorce occurring when a child is an adolescent or a teen usually leaves him/her with lots of mental torture. The teenagers in this case feel embarrassed at the prospect of belonging to a broken family because societal norms advocate for a complete continuous family. This makes them frustrated and angry thus making them resort to activities that would give them solace.

Some might indulge in drugs while others might indulge actively in sports as a way of ventilating their frustrations to release some pent up energies. Teens tend to be affected a lot because they understand the reasons for their parents’ divorce. This is worse off because they are so helpless to stop the divorce thus ending up frustrated. Divorce comes with divisions in the family.

At times, they are forced to lay blame on one party whom they believe is the cause of the divorce (Elizabeth, 2006, p. 19). This leads to their division as to which side they should take. At the same time, it also comes with new responsibilities for teenagers who might be forced to cope with the different changes happening in their lives on their own on issues like sexual feelings.

The teenagers might also grow up to dislike the institution of marriage by growing doubts on whether they will ever want to get married or whether they could stay in a marriage. A good example of a divorce victim is the musician Enrique Iglesias who feels that there is no point of getting married because, at some point, the marriage might break up. Enrique’s dad had so many marriages, which kept on breaking up.

This informed his decision not to get married. In general, divorce might have lifelong effects to children when it happens as they witness it. Children who grow up in a divorced marriage tend to develop manipulative behaviors. This case happens when there is competition between the two parents when one wants the children to see him/her as being better than the other.

They will therefore shower their kids with favors as a way of winning them over. The moment the kids come to discover what their parents are up to, they will start making demands besides playing the parents against each other. At the back of their minds, they have the knowledge that one parent will definitely give them what the other has refused to give.

This might go on into their adult lives thus giving them undesirable characters. Children growing up in a divorced family might not have a lot of respect for the institution of marriage. They would easily walk out of a marriage in the future with the belief that, after all, their parents’ marriage did not work.

The psychological impact that always afflicts children when they have to attend court sessions to hear out the differences between their parents can be great (Chase, 2010, p.211). This leads to lose of self-esteem in children because they will always be embarrassed by the courtroom drama and the prospect of the news becoming public among their peers.

In many cases, children wish that they were not there to face the situation thus preferring to move away from the area they are staying to a new place where people do not know about their skeletons in the closet.

The children would also ask that they change schools and their complete social setting just to run away from what has happened to their parents. Some children would always wish that their parents got back together. They would do everything in their power to push or convince their parents to come back together.


In conclusion, divorce affects children in the family psychologically and in a negative way. It is in very few instances that one would find a child who was not negatively affected even though it was the only thing that would guarantee them peace and survival. There is always that thought in the children that things should have worked out differently.

Therefore, to save the children on the effects of divorce, there is the need for parents to cultivate some good relations by nurturing everything that strengthens their love bond besides involving their children in matters that convince them positively that marriage is the best institution that every person ought to join when time comes.

Reference List

Amato, P. (2003). People’s Reasons for divorcing. Journal of Family issues, 24(5), 602- 626.

Chase, K. (2010). Dicken and the Rise of Divorce: The Failed Marriage Plot and the Novel Tradition. Victorian Institute Journal, 38(1), 211-214.

Douglas, L. (2005). The Binuclear Family Boom. Library Journal, 130(14), 49-50.

Elizabeth, M. (2006). No Good Divorce. Christian Century, 123(3), 18-23.

Isle, I. (2012). Legal Separation Grounds for Divorce: The Legal Process. Retrieved from

Temke, M. (2006). The Effect of Divorce On Children, Family & Consumer Resources. Hampshire: University of Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

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