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How a high-conflict divorce can cause damage to children

When many Michigan parents divorce, the main concern should be the children. However, many couples focus on seeking revenge on the other spouse. They may have felt wronged in the relationship and now want to do what they can to make life as bitter as possible for the other party. Unfortunately, nearly one-third of divorces involve parental conflict of such a high degree that children begin to suffer emotionally.

Children need a sense of normalcy after a divorce. When parents continue to argue in front of the children, tensions mount. Children can suffer from communication issues and become unable to cope.

Anger is especially harmful to children. In a divorce, children are sometimes used as pawns. Parents use the children to get back at the other parent. Kids need to remain kids. It's not fair to involve children in adult issues, such as child support or the parents' new significant others. Name-calling is also unacceptable

Children can also be traumatized when the situation escalates to violence. When parental conflict turns physical, children face emotional difficulties. They may become concerned about the welfare of themselves or their parents or even become fearful. This is true whether the violence happens once or multiple times.

Couples sometimes fail to realize that a divorce is not just about them. Children also experience stress when their parents split up. In many cases, they are affected even more. Parents can facilitate the process by acting civilly toward each other and making good decisions that will promote stability instead of fear or added stress for their children.

Source: Saratogian, "Terrific Parenting: Damage to children from high-conflict divorce" No author given, Apr. 05, 2014

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