Some researchers claim that divorce always affects children negatively, while others insist that it doesn't. But divorce is a big deal and it always affects children in some way, whether for better, for worse, or both. Here are three ways a divorce commonly affects children.

1. Misplacing blame

Some children grow angry when their parents split up. This type of child may begin acting out at school and blaming his or her misbehavior, anger, and any other unfortunate circumstances on parents. Therapy and a focus on honest communication and interaction with the child are two ways to help mitigate this behavior. At the other end of the spectrum, another child may blame him or herself for the divorce, irrationally wishing that it had been preventable. This often happens with conscientious children who don't understand why their parents split up. 

2. Reducing conflict

In some situations, completing a divorce may actually improve a child's living situation. If a marriage relationship contains a lot of conflict, children can be negatively affected by this exposure to constant fighting. When the divorce happens and the living situation changes, the absence of this conflict can be an improvement. A more extreme example of this is in a domestic violence situation in which the child was always in fear of violent behavior (whether directed toward him or herself or another member of the family). These circumstances mean that a child can be positively affected by a divorce.

3. Adding burdensome responsibilities

When a divorce occurs, one household in effect becomes two. This often means that one or both households will have a reduced income and a reduced quality of life, especially those households consisting of a single parent supporting one or more children. The financial straits thus introduced often force an adolescent to take on a job to help support the family, or at the very least to take on additional responsibilities at home, such as hurrying home from school to care for younger siblings while the parent is away at work. These added responsibilities can come as a shock, can harm the adolescent's social life and even cause grades to deteriorate.

As you can see, divorce can affect different children and adolescents in various ways, and different divorce situations tend toward different results. Some situations call for a divorce to protect a child from a bad home situation, whereas other situations wouldn't improve with a divorce but would simply add distress, strain, and exhaustion to the child's life.

To find what may be best in your situation, contact legal professionals like Hurth Sisk & Blakemore LLP.