Does Divorce Affect a Child’s Academics?

You may have heard the rumors: children don’t do as well in school after their parents divorce. Upset by their parents’ decision, they act out and disrespect adults, which causes their grades to drop. Is there any truth to these rumors?

It’s possible that these rumors could be true, but they don’t necessarily apply to all divorce cases. Many children of divorce go on to do well in school and even go to college. Some fail school and eventually drop out. It all depends on several factors, including economics.

A study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences shows that children from poor families are not as affected as much by divorce. This is likely because economically disadvantaged families have experienced many hardships and are therefore not as affected by divorce. Divorce is not as disruptive to these children.

Besides finances, differences in race and education were also factors contributing to divorce. The author of the study, Jennie Brand, found that couples were more likely to divorce when the spouses were of different races or had different education levels.

Mothers are also more likely to get divorced when they grew up in single-parent families. This is likely because they had no examples of a happy marriage growing up, so they didn’t know how to keep their own marriage intact. Mothers who had depression or inflexible work hours were also likely to divorce. This is likely due to overwhelming levels of stress and not getting the help they need to juggle work, marriage and parenthood.

How Divorce Can Impact Your Child’s Academics

Children that come from financially advantaged families tend to fare worse after a divorce. These children likely have never had to deal with adversity, so when they find out their parents are divorcing, it can be a huge blow. Here are some ways in which children’s academics can be impacted:

  • A child is likely to be distracted after a divorce. He or she may be worried about what will happen next. This worry can distract your child and make it hard for them to focus on their studies.
  • Less likely to go to college. After a divorce, children tend to lower their aspirations. They may hear about their parents struggling financially and feel that college tuition would only make matters worse.
  • Behavioral issues. Divorce impacts children more than parents think. Children of divorce are more likely to have behavioral problems. They are more likely to skip school than children of married parents. They are also more likely to use drugs and have psychological problems. They may disobey teachers and become more aggressive. They are also more likely to suffer from ADD and hyperactivity.
Contact a Maryland Divorce Lawyer Today

When divorcing, parents need to be mindful of their children’s emotions and behavior. Seeing your parents split up can be complicated for even older children to understand.

The Columbia divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help you divorce amicably and with less stress. We have two offices to serve you. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (410) 774-5987 or filling out the online form.


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