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Divorce: A Parents' Guide for Supporting Children

By John E. Desrochers, PhD, ABPP
New Canaan (CT) Public Schools

"Today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly half of all first marriages end in divorce. Two thirds of these situations involve children. What effect will divorce have on children in both the short and long term? Differing advice from experts in the field as well as “expert advice” in the media adds to parents’ anxiety about divorce.

The good news is that, in the long term, approximately 80% of children of divorced parents become productive, well-adjusted, and successful adults. As they get older, their parents’ divorce becomes more and more a distant memory of a painful time, and a less active influence in their lives.

The other 20% of these children experience a variety of ongoing psychological and social difficulties that significantly interfere with their lives. As adults these people are twice as likely to experience mental illness, substance abuse, and failed relationships. In children, warning signs of coping difficulties can include problems in sleeping or eating, increased anger or sadness, fears, or regression.

Understanding the risk factors and what to expect at each stage of a child’s development will help parents promote their children’s successful adjustment and growth as the family goes through the divorce process."

DIVORCE web info:

Divorce Headquarters—

Like many websites devoted to divorce, this one places the emphasis on the legal issues involved with visitation, child support, taxes, insurance, and rights. It is a comprehensive, however, and includes a number of useful links to other sites concerning divorce.