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Divorce's Forgotten Victims

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The effects of a break-up can take some time to appear in children. Common behaviours include isolation and withdrawal, anger at others, destructive tendencies and self-blame or guilt. Indeed, statistics show that 50% of divorces involve contact issues and disputes over residence which often means that children feel divided loyalties leading to further psychological problems. "It is important to bear in mind their age and the level of understanding before talking to your children and listening to how they feel" said Steven Payne of Gepp & Sons Solicitors. Younger children in particular have a hard time dealing with the changes that are occurring at this time. Statistics show that children between the ages of six and nine are the most vulnerable as they are aware that they are experiencing emotions as a result of the separation, but are unable to control their reactions to this pain. This is in contrast to adolescents who because they are more mature, may assume adult-like responsibilities and concerns which often result in anger, particularly in boys, and withdrawal, especially in girls. However, it is important to remember that the long term impact for a child of witnessing a dysfunctional or abusive relationship can be more severe than that of a divorce or separation. Indeed, parents and their children can seek professional support at the time of separation to help both parties through the transition. Children of different ages will react in different ways and therefore it is helpful to understand all of them if you are a parent splitting up. At Gepp & Sons, our specialist family lawyers are highly experienced in family matters and understand the paramount importance of considering a child's welfare when conducting divorce proceedings. Please call us on 01245 228106 to arrange a free initial & confidential consultation.