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How Do Teens Handle Parents' Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

teenager divorceStatistics show that by the time they turn 16 years old, almost half of all teenagers will have experienced their parents divorcing. Fifteen percent of teenagers will deal with divorce more than once because of parents’ remarriages and subsequent divorces. For teens of unmarried parents, 25 percent will experience their parents’ breakup.

Adolescence can be an extremely emotional and difficult time. For many teens dealing with their parents’ divorce, the feelings are similar to coping with a death in the family and they will show all the signs of grieving. These feeling can especially intensify during special events and holidays.

Signs that a teenager is struggling with difficult emotions about the divorce include aggressive behavior, guilt, and anger. Physical signs include any changes in sleeping or eating habits, complaints of frequent headaches and stomach aches.

As difficult as it may be to work together with the child’s other parent, especially if you are going through a contentious divorce, it is critical for the emotional well-being of your child that both parents work together when it comes to addressing your teen’s struggles. Breaking the news to them about the divorce should be done together, stressing that although the both of you will no longer be married, you will both always be their parents and that will never change. Stress how much you love them and explain clearly they are in no way responsible for your decision to divorce.

As you move forward, it is also important for your teen to know that they now have two homes. They should never feel as if they are just a visitor at the non-custodial parent’s home, no matter what the final parenting plan is.

As the child grows older, it is important for both parents to be flexible when it does come to whatever the court-ordered visitation says. Teenagers tend to have much more active social lives than younger children and parents need to remember that time with their friends, sports activities and other events can often be more of priority to teenagers than spending time with their parents.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney to find out what legal options you may have.

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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