Understanding the impacts of divorce and custody arrangements

Pain and emotions are often present in a divorce. This often makes it challenge to navigate through the process and move on with life post-divorce. For parents, the decisions they make during dissolution and post-divorce could affect their child or children greatly. With regards to child custody, how parents handle this arrangement could impact their child’s wellbeing. Furthermore, it could lead to additional disputes and require modifications to the custody arrangement.

A recent report discussed various research and studies that indicated that children in higher income families are mostly affected when their parent divorce. This is not only considering how the child initially reacted to the divorce but how the arrangements post-divorce impacted them over time.

When considering external behaviors, such as aggression and bullying and internal behaviors, such as anxiety, sadness and low self-esteem, the children in the top income group were the only ones displaying these impacts. Researchers believe that this response could largely relate to the fact that the fathers in these families often the sole breadwinner, and after dissolution the mother take primary custody of the children. The child is now required to adjust to a new environment and often a lower income home.

Although alimony could help make the home similar to the lifestyle experienced prior to divorce, the new arrangement tends to create a more drastic change for these children. Furthermore, high-asset divorces tend to be more stressful due to the complex property division often involved. These emotions could transfer on to the children and make it difficult to acclimate to the post-divorce life.

While no child custody arrangement is perfect or ideal, parents should understand how both divorce and the custody arrangement could affect their child. The best interest of the child should always be the focal point, and in order to keep in that way, modifications might be required. Whether spouses are dealing with a custody battle, struggling with the terms of the agreement or are seeking modification, they should understand their options so they can address these issues appropriately.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorce Hits Children In Higher-Income Families The Hardest, Study Says,” Rebecca Adams, Sept. 15, 2014

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