At Certain Ages, Divorce Can be Even More Traumatic For Kids! (Pt 1)

Photo of a disturbed young boy

At certain ages, primarily after 2 and before 12, kids struggle more with their parent’s divorce.

Kids who come from homes with divorced parents are not rare these days. With the divorce rate as high as it is, a huge number of children have divorced parents in Michigan, and Oakland County is no different. Many, if not most of them, are fine (or will be fine after they process the change and develop some coping skills.) Kids are resilient.

Kids whose parents are divorce sometimes face greater challenges

Some of children of divorced parents struggle with relationships more than kids who grew up in intact families. And some of them may be more likely to suffer depression and anxiety than their together-family counterparts. But on the whole, most of them work through the difficulties of divorce and go on to live happy and fulfilling lives. However, new research is showing that age may have something to do with that.

Certain ages are more susceptible to divorce-related trauma.

Child psychologist Dr. Scott Carroll, who was interviewed for an article in, says that teens and babies can withstand divorce far better than elementary aged kids. Children younger than two aren’t really aware of what’s happening when their parents get divorced, Carroll says. However two year olds can form long some long term memories, and they would be aware of the emotional changes, and the missing person, in their family. Oakland County has more than our fair share of toddlers for sure.

There is a window of time during which divorce seems to have a greater impact

From there, the vulnerable age rises quickly until kids reach their teens. Three to eleven seem to be the ages most affected, with eleven being the peak of that time period. The reason, according to Dr. Carroll, is because children had time to understand the significance of their parent’s relationship before the divorce, and to develop deep attachments to both parents. However, on the flip side, they’re still very egocentric because they haven’t developed emotional independence, and so they’re more likely to internalize the break up of their family.

How you handle your divorce can make a difference to your child

As family law attorneys with decades of experience, we’ve helped countless families with children navigate their divorces. We understand the complexities involved in handling custody issues, and setting up visitation schedules. Many of us parents here in southeast Michigan are on the go all day and into the evening with our jobs, our kids and all of those activities. Our skilled family law attorneys have the experience and knowledge to help you through this very difficult time of your life. We understand your difficulty because we’ve been there. You can reach our Oakland County office at 248 479-6200 to get the right help today. We’re available for crisis intervention and consultation 24/7 in our Farmington Hills office. Join us next time, as we look at options for how to reduce the challenges your child will face during your divorce.


Call (248) 479-6200

Talk To A Family Law Attorney

call us
email us