chapter  2
27 Pages

Children’s reactions to parental separation and divorce

When a couple have children, divorce involves disorganizing and reorganizing a family. Rebuilding after the breakup of a family, as after a bereavement, rarely takes less than a year, and may take much longer. The effect that parental separation has on children varies with the individual child and the particular situation. Marriages end in many different ways. Most children want, and continue to want, both their parents to live together with them as a family. The three most important factors leading to bad outcomes for children following their parents' divorce are inadequate communication at the time of divorce, poor subsequent relationships with the custodial parent, and dissatisfaction with custody and access arrangements. Parents who achieved success outside the family, at work or play, or who took up new and satisfying interests, were better able to manage their personal lives and be effective parents.