The children of divorced parents face special challenges and bear additional burdens inherent in the emotional development. According to a well-versed family law divorce lawyer in Virginia, in a longitudinal study of sixty divorced couples whose children were between three and eighteen years of age at the time of separation, six special tasks emerged as vital for adjusting the children.
- RECOGNIZE THE REALITY OF MARITAL BREAKDOWN. Often young children do not understand what happens and many children of age at the beginning deny separation. Others feel overwhelmed by fear of total abandonment or take refuge in fantasies of reconciliation. Most children face the facts towards the end of the first year of separation.
- SEPARATE PARENTAL CONFLICT AND TENSION AND REGAIN HABITUAL GOALS. At first, children may feel so worried that they cannot play, do homework, or participate in activities that were common to them. They need to put a distance between themselves and their parents to continue living their own lives, says a reliable family law divorce lawyer in Virginia. Most children do it a year and a half after separation.
- SOLVE THE LOSS. Absorbing all the losses caused by a divorce can be the most difficult job to perform. Children need to adjust to the loss of the father who no longer lives with them, the security of feeling cared and loved by both parents, the daily family routines and family traditions: the loss of an entire family as well as lifestyle. Some children need years to face these losses and some never achieve them, leading to a feeling of rejection, contempt and indifference until adulthood.
- RESOLVE ANGER AND GUILT. Children understand that divorce, unlike death, is voluntary and very often they feel angry for years against the father (or parents) for having done something so terrible to them, says an experienced family law divorce lawyer in Virginia. They look for the cause of divorce in something they did or did not do. When they forgive their parents and themselves, they feel more empowered and more in control of their lives.
- ACCEPT THE PERMANENCE OF THE DIVORCE. Some children retain for years the fantasy that their parents will come together again, even after getting married again some accept the permanence of the situation only after the separation of psychology from their parents in adolescence or early adulthood.
- ACHIEVE A REALISTIC HOPE REGARDING RELATIONSHIPS. Some children who have adjusted well in other aspects of divorce are afraid of the opportunity to establish intimate relationships out of fear that they themselves may fail as their parents did, say a trustworthy family law divorce lawyer in Virginia. They can become depressive, cynics or simply always doubt the possibility of finding lasting love.
Many children successfully overcome all these situations and go through a divorce with their ego intact. The ability to do so seems to be related, partly to the child’s own adaptability and partly to the way parents handle issues related to separation and the challenge of raising their children alone.