High-conflict custody battles are difficult situations for everyone involved. Some parents assume that their children won’t suffer long-lasting impacts, but this isn’t likely. Many children will face changes that can make life more challenging.
The way that parents handle these divorces can determine exactly how the children fare afterwards. Parents who can keep the conflict away from the children will usually notice that their children are able to cope. Parents who keep the conflict going and argue in front of the children will possibly notice some negative behaviors in the kids.
Possible effects on the children
There are many ways that divorce can affect children. They might not do well in school, and this may be a big change from what was going on before the divorce. They may become disobedient or aggressive. Making poor decisions and having trouble with attention and concentration are also possible. Some children begin to have sleep disturbances. They may feel anxious or depressed or turn to drugs and alcohol.
Children can learn a lot about conflict resolution and methods for adapting to new situations by watching their parents handle the split. When you and your ex can’t work together, the kids might learn that fighting is always the answer.
Helping the kids
Throughout the divorce process, you should watch carefully for signs that the children are struggling. This can manifest in a variety of ways. Some children might begin to fight against authority and others may try to manipulate situations. They might become fatigued or cry more often than usual. Becoming irritable or having a bad attitude can also signal that they need some help.
Once you notice signs that they need you, finding out how to help isn’t always easy. You can talk to them if they’re old enough to relay their feelings or needs. You may have to help them learn how to express their emotions so that you can work with them.
You can’t control how your ex handles the divorce, but you can try to smooth things over and behave in a civil manner before your children. Modeling this behavior can reduce your stress, and it can help them to see that the end of your marriage isn’t the end of the world.
Being willing to work with your ex for the good of the kids can possibly help you with the child custody case. It shows that you want what’s best for the children, and the court can consider that when making a ruling on the custody matter.