A divorce is going to put stress on every member of your family, right down to your children. In many instances, kids get stressed out about a divorce more than the parents. The trouble is that they often don’t let that show. Teenagers especially will hide their emotions, put on a strong face, or simply become reclusive to avoid confrontation. Parents who are focused on getting through the legalities of a divorce can understandably miss the warning signs that their children are actually concealing inner turmoil and need some guidance.

Here are some telltale warning signs that your child is not coping well with your divorce but hasn’t told you:

  1. Your child is uncharacteristically sad, angry, or inconsiderate, and for many days or weeks on end.

  2. Your child reports developing insomnia, which can entail the inability to fall asleep, waking up frequently throughout the night, or suffering vivid nightmares.

  3. Your child starts to redevelop old, negative habits, such as an unusual fear of being away from you or sucking his or her thumb.

  4. Your child suddenly loses interest in activities and hobbies that once gave him or her joy, such as after-school programs, sporting events, or just hanging out with friends.

  5. Your child is clearly “choosing sides” and favoring either you or your spouse as the divorce progresses.

  6. Your child starts to experience physical ailments that are difficult to diagnose, such as migraines, stomach pains, new allergies, or full-body aches.

  7. Your child is eating much more or much less than normal; if concerned, ask your child’s teachers if they have seen your son or daughter engage in odd eating habits while at school.

  8. Your child’s grades can also be strong indicators of their inner emotions, especially if noticeable drops have occurred recently; if your divorce has taken months or more to finalize, it will be easier to gauge your child’s wellbeing through his or her grades.

  9. Your child is openly and extremely disinterested in family events; he or she is intentionally pushing away all family members, not just you and your spouse.

  10. Your child inflicts self-harm or speaks about it; please take this warning sign seriously and seek professional assistance for your child’s own wellbeing.

Once you have identified one or more of these warning signs in your children, how you react can still be difficult to assess. Should you speak directly to your child about what is going on? Will it help if you plan an approach with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, or are they generally disinterested in it all? If matters are extreme and you fear your child is clinically depressed due to the divorce, should you also consider enrolling them in therapy? You have a variety of options to explore, and you will want to think about each one carefully.

Sometimes all that needs to be done is the finalization of your divorce. As it lasts and lingers, your child may become more and more upset. If you want to move your divorce along without unnecessary delays and with confidence that your best interests are being protected, talk to Fair Cadora and our San Diego divorce attorneys. We have a Bar Certified Family Law Specialist on our team and a reputation for compassion and legal prowess.

Contact us online to request an initial consultation.