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September 6,2017

Divorce

Divorce May be Bad for Your Child’s Health

HomeBlogDivorceDivorce May be Bad for Your Child’s Health

Q: Is your divorce making your kids physically ill?

Telling your kids you’re getting a divorce might just be the hardest discussion you’ve ever had to have.  Hearing those words from your mouth is likely 100 times harder on them.

At the Goodman Law firm, we are particularly concerned with the impact divorce has on the couple’s children and we encourage our clients to follow our “Six Tips for Talking to Kids about Divorce” which include:

  1. consider speaking to a professional like a family counselor to discuss your children and the best way to break the news to them
  2. agree with your spouse in advance on what to tell the children
  3. speak to your kids together as a couple to help them feel more secure
  4. assure the kids the divorce isn’t there fault
  5. allow the children to maintain a relationship with your spouse and avoid bad mouthing your spouse in their presence
  6. share only age-appropriate facts of the divorce with the children when necessary

While you may feel guilt over being unable to protect them from the inevitable pain the divorce will initially cause them, it’s how you and your former spouse handle yourselves in the years following your divorce that may really impact your children’s long-term health.

According to a recent study, your (and your ex-spouse’s) actions during and after a divorce can impact your child’s immunity and put them at risk for “poor health and chronic illness.”

The study found that “family stress during childhood might influence a child’s susceptibility to disease 20 to 40 years later”. Specifically, it found that children “whose parents lived apart and didn’t talk to each other during the participant’s childhood were more than three times more likely to develop a cold than those whose parents remain together” when healthy study group participants were exposed to a common cold virus.

It’s not the separation, but rather the lack of continued communication between former spouses, that increases the risk of poorer health and reduced immunity.

While your affection for your former spouse has changed, your love for your children never will.   As you move into the next chapter following your divorce, make every effort to foster positive, open lines of communication with your former spouse.  While it may sometimes prove challenging, it appears to make for happier—and healthier—children, even into adulthood.

If you live in the Chicago area and are considering a divorce, the Goodman Law Firm can help you get the best possible outcome while minimizing the stress to you and your children. Call us for an initial consultation.

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