When it comes to our emotions, there is nothing that can shatter them more than going through the divorce. We can even handle death more easily since it’s a natural process. Real emotional hell begins when you need to part with the living. This change in our lives can make even the strongest grownups look like patients in the madhouse. So even the well-adjusted children could suffer far more.

You could say that your children are handling it very well, but in most cases, this is just your misinterpretation. Parents are so occupied with themselves during the divorce that sometimes they fail to recognize the stress the child is going through. We have an impression that children are the loud ones, but the truth is that they still haven’t learned to blow off steam as grownups, which leaves all the negative emotions buried deep inside. This is where the largest percent of traumas come from.

Know THEIR Rights

Through the course of life, we have learned enough about our ‛given rights’ to know we need to fight for the every last one of them. But what parents tend to forget caught up in the turmoil (emotional and bureaucratic one) of the divorce is that children are still not able to wage that battle. They are still in the position where they are condemned to suffer from the actions of others. And since they’re still adapting to life which is a mystery on its own, they are also fated to adjust (sometimes very radically) to things around them, both - good and bad.

If you’re unaware of this through the process of divorce you’ll also be the one who demands form your young ones to make changes that are sudden, unnerving, and hard. You might think that there’s nothing wrong in preparing your children for hardships of life (the sooner the better, right?) but it’s hardly a preparation if they are left without support because their mommy and daddy are drained to the last drop of their constructive energy dealing with their feelings of anger and betrayal.

On a Foreign Territory

Most parents like to keep an illusion that they’re able to maintain control during the divorce. Lying to yourself is always easier. You say to yourself ‛this is my life, I’m in my house, and I know what’s best for my children’. That is all true, but at the same time, when it comes to divorce - it isn’t. Just a thought about the uncertainty of your future living situation or custody agreement can grab you like a tornado and drop you off to a completely different state of mind where rules of the game are completely changed, popularly called the Divorce Island.

This emotional shipwreck is like any other - in order to assure your survival and that of your children you’re gonna need some rescuers. Rescuers whose judgment is not distorted by the burning sun of pain and sorrow and whose determination is not broken by the surrounding sea of loneliness and betrayal.

Who You Gonna Call?

Yes, Ghostbusters. And this is not just an entertaining pun. Ghosts are not beings from horror films who are rattling the chains and trying the doorknob of your room at night. They come from intense feelings we can not pin down, hunting us until we’ll able to understand and make peace with ourselves. And during the divorce, a family home inevitably becomes a haunted mansion. Let’s take a look at what phantasms can be hiding in the thick mist of a broken marriage:

Paranormal activity

We are all familiar with this old story. Electricity going out, various objects going down or flying across the room on their own, strange figures in the shadows of the night. Now imagine that all this is not happening on the outside but inside your children. Tension has hit the roof and a nervous breakdown is waiting around the corner, and you can’t get out of your own skin. In other words - anxiety. if not treated properly your child can say goodbye to concentration and overall interest in life.

The Nerve-wrecker

These are the ones that rattle the chains and have a particular fondness for doorknobs. But they are not making scratching noises inside your child’s room but in its head. And they are not scary like in ghost stories, although the pressure they produce on the brain can certainly give you nightmares. But most of all, they are irritating. They keep the child in the state of constant stress, eventually leading to extremely negative thoughts. And we all know that the pessimistic view on life is far worse than any nightmare.


Everyone has watched The Exorcist and probably no living being has been able to forget it completely. Vomiting and 360-degree head-spinning set aside, this is a very common thing to happen to a child during the divorce. If we strip this cult classic of its visual effects we’re left with good old mood swings combined with some dangerously high levels of irritation. This usually leads to a complete withdrawal of the child. Invaded by their own worries and problems, the divorcing parents can easily fail to notice that the child has become quiet and shut itself away.

The Wailer

The horror industry has made the sounds of someone crying in the distance a real chiller, but that is nothing compared to the thought of that sound coming from the depths of your child’s soul. We all know that it is quite normal for people to be sad sometimes, but divorce can push the intensity of that sadness beyond the threshold. It is like the acute rush of sadness throughout the mind and heart of your child, creating the state where nothing feels good in life anymore. This is the cradle of depression.

The Whisperer

Every sense of hopelessness comes from a delusion, and this is precisely what happens in this case. It is like a thousand voices whispering inside your child’s head, preventing it to comprehend the unfamiliar intense emotions around it and creating the overwhelming feeling of distress. This often happens when a child is left with a single parent without access to the other.

I think we all get the picture at this point. As horrific as it sounds, the fact that most of the parents are not able to notice these psychological problems of their children makes it even worse. If not taken care of, all the divorce side effects listed above will later turn into social and behavioral problems, poor education that leads to an even worse socio-economic position, troubles in relationships, and in many cases even to substance abuse. You could look back after ten years and ask yourself when did all that happen, and the answer will be - when you weren’t able to see it. That’s why you need the Ghostbusters, but they are not three parapsychology professors in gray suits with fancy equipment.

They are just a pair of fresh objective eyes and expert knowledge that can put this ghostly phenomenon in the area of psychology. A large number of parents ignorantly refuses to involve a child psychologist because they don’t want anyone to ‛pick the child’s brain’, but we’ve seen that the brain has already been picked. The role of the professional psychologist is only to help your child realize what’s going on. You can look at it as the ritual of exorcism without all that screaming and flying - in order to cast out the demon you need to find out its name, first.

Of course, there is another hell territory in the maze of divorce, and it’s called bureaucracy. For a child, this area is like a pure nightmare materialized, especially if he is asked by the court to choose a parent. Custody battles can take ages to resolve and they produce an additional stress for the child, placing it in the state of never-ending agony. That’s why it’s mandatory to have reliable and experienced child custody lawyer

who will make sure that court proceedings won’t leave any additional scars on the child.

As you could see, despite the fact that divorce side effects can be very harsh on the child, you don’t need the witch doctor to help him. Although psychologists and lawyers are just ordinary men they have experience and knowledge to prevent these manifestations and, most importantly, they have the will and ability to listen.

Author's Bio: 

Emily Wilson is a business psychologist with a passion for the law. Researching, exploring and writing are her favourite things to do. Besides that, she loves travelling, music and animals.