While divorce is hard for all children, it can be particularly tough for teenage children. Just as they are getting used to increased independence and setting their own routines, their world gets thrown into chaos.
These are some of the ways divorce can be particularly hard on a teenager:
- Increased responsibility: They may be required to spend time looking after their smaller siblings while their parent is out at work. They may take on extra household roles, such as preparing supper, which reduces the free time they previously had.
- Less freedom due to visitation schedules: Weekends, which were once the chance to hang out with friends and do as they please, may no longer be their own. If the child custody agreement says they spend weekends with one parent, they may find their Saturdays and Sundays planned out for them. If there are things the child wants to do without the parent, they may find it hard to tell them, thinking it will offend them.
- Losing contact with friends: Whether moving to another property close by or another state, moving house can disrupt friendships that teenagers have built up. If they have to change schools, this can deprive them of their trusted peer support group when they most need them.
- Problems with schooling: Divorce often affects a child’s studies. It could be down to the emotional effect or changes to routine. They may have less time to study due to additional responsibilities or lack a quiet study space if you can only afford a smaller house.
When settling your divorce, seek the support of an attorney who will make sure you get the child custody agreement and child support arrangements your child needs.