Divorce is the legal process to end marital relationships in Texas. The court terminates the marriage and settles other issues that may arise. While divorces may be easier to complete if they are uncontested divorces, that is, the spouses made a joint decision to end the marriage. Uncontested divorces may not require the parties to hire a legal representative because they are less complicated. However, decisions on contested divorces may take longer due to child custody, alimony, and division of properties.
Child custody matters in Texas are common during divorce proceedings. Several factors influence the custody arrangement after the divorce. A parent can be awarded sole custody of the child, granting them the exclusive legal right to make decisions in the child’s life. The court can also decide that both parents should share custody and be responsible for the child’s welfare. However, shared custody means that an agreed schedule dictates who spends a particular time with the child, visitation rights, and the decision-making system.
Child custody in Texas is awarded based on what suits the child best. Divorces are challenging for the child as well as the parents so the Family Court considers the child’s welfare as the most essential factor. Texas courts are more likely to grant joint custody to the spouses to ensure that the child has a connection with both parents.
Divorce can be a traumatic experience for a child, especially young children. Studies show that the first and second year after a divorce is tough for kids. However, some children adjust to the new arrangement while others may not recover and experience more problems from the divorce. This worsens if the divorced parents do not get along.
Kids feel emotions during a divorce. Younger kids fail to understand the changes that occur with the divorce arrangements. They may fear that their parents will cease to love them. Teenagers tend to be angry about their parents’ divorce and may take sides with a parent and/or resent the other.
Some of the traumatic effects divorces can have on kids include:
Mental Health Issues
The psychological effect that divorce has on kids can be paramount to their mental health. Divorce poses a higher risk of kids having mental health issues. It can trigger depression and other disorders that can last for a while. The rate of anxiety is more common in kids in a divorce process compared with the general population of children.
Poor Academic Performance
Parental divorce may disrupt the academic performance of a child. Children are often confused and occupied with trying to understand the changes that occur with divorce. The distraction it causes can result in academic challenges. The child may find it hard to concentrate, therefore affecting academic performance.
Studies suggest that seperation can encourage delinquency behavior in a child, especially teenagers. This may be linked to the child dealing with anger and resentment they feel about the divorce. Such children also tend to have more impulsive behavior than kids from healthy families. Likewise, they are more likely to engage in physical quarrels often than before the divorce. Destructive behavior may also be exhibited as an avenue to express themselves.
Stress can affect the physical status of a child. Divorce poses a higher health risk in children due to different issues such as changes in sleeping patterns or an eating disorder. The psychological well-being of the child can further deteriorate their physical health if they are depressed.
Social withdrawal of kids is a common occurrence from a divorce. A child known to be confident and sociable may change and become more reserved and less assertive. Their confidence may be affected if they feel guilt for the spilt, causing low self-esteem.
Future Relationship Issues
Divorce can shape the way a child perceives relationships and their partners. They may be indifferent about relationships and reluctant to commit to a person for the long term in their adulthood. It is also a possibility that they end up divorced as an adult.
Engaging in Risky Activities
Divorce can take a toll on adolescents and trigger them to engage in risky behavior. Research shows that they are more likely to use illegal substances and have sexual relations at an earlier age than children that have not faced divorce. Females in households without the presence of a father figure are likely to engage earlier in sexual activities.
Assisting Children Through Divorce
Providing support to a child for adjustment to the divorce is the responsibility of parents. Parents need to ensure that the kid expresses themselves and does not have any long-term effect from the divorce. Peaceful co-parenting is essential to decrease the challenging impact of divorce. Conflicts may arise between the parents, causing severe emotional stress for the child and forcing them to pick aside. This can be detrimental and intensify the child’s distress. Parents can seek professional help to reduce conflicts in co-parenting.
During the divorce process, the court may award custody based on the child’s preference. Parents should desist from pressurizing the child to pick them and instead focus on coming to an agreement that suits the child best. The child can suffer anxiety or depression from being caught up in the drama.
Parents can maintain healthy and loving relations with the child after divorce. Children often question their parent’s love for them after a divorce, and they will feel better if they have a healthy relationship post-divorce.
Professional help can also assist a child in adjusting to the changes occurring from a divorce. Both the parents and children can consider talk therapy or similar options to assist them in maintaining a relationship in which the child feels safe and loved.