When a Washington parent informs his or her children that a divorce is pending, the family as a whole may encounter numerous challenges in the weeks and months beyond that moment. Children are typically quite adaptable and resilient. However, there is no guarantee they will react without any emotional difficulty or that the divorce will no negative effects on their lives, so it is understandable that most parents would want to keep stress levels to a minimum regarding helping their children adapt to new lifestyles.
Young children often suffer separation anxiety, even when both parents live under the same roof. In divorce situations, this reaction may be exacerbated because even toddlers can sense stress but cannot always express their feelings, so they may feel afraid, cry or have a tantrum whenever a parent is away, even for short amounts of time. Children of this age often regress where potty training is concerned, as well.
Older kids may be able to say how they feel but that does not necessarily mean they can process their emotions without support from a parent or counselor. Teenagers often exhibit feelings of anger or deep sorrow when their parents separate. They may also go through rebellious stages.
Children of divorce often show signs of distress in other areas away from home, such as in school, where grades or performance may plummet. Also, parental discord regarding legal issues surrounding divorce rarely goes unnoticed by the children involved. That is why it is always best to try to resolve such issues as swiftly and amicably as possible. An experienced Washington family law attorney can be a great asset in such circumstances.