Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Separation Secrets: How Divorce Can Affect Your Older Kids

Divorce can be difficult for children of any age. While many people feel that a parents’ separation is hardest on small children, it can be equally difficult and cause a different set of challenges for older children. If you are going through a divorce or separation, you may find that your older child:

May Have Behavior Changes

Teenagers are already trying to navigate through their adolescent years, and the effects of a divorce may cause a change in personality or general behavior. They may become more sullen, withdrawn, or introverted while trying to deal with what is going on around them.

May Become Aggressive and Act Out

While some teens may tend to withdraw and close up, others may become aggressive as they are unaware of how to handle their anger and resentment. Some teens may actually act out violently and start getting into fights or other trouble at school or at home.

May Begin to Perform Poorly at School

Sometimes teenage children may experience a drop in grades during a divorce. This could be caused by stress from the divorce, loss of one parent in the home, or from moving or changing schools. It could also be part of the child withdrawing and finding no purpose to the studies, feeling that what is going on around them at home is more important.

May Feel Like They Need to Grow Up Quickly

When a divorce occurs, your teen may feel that they have to grow up suddenly. This could be abstract as they have to now deal with adult emotions and problems that the divorce may cause, or could be more concrete, such as taking on a new role in the household especially if there are younger siblings. An Albany child custody lawyer recommends getting legal counsel if the children need extra care during this time.

May Feel They Need to Choose a Side

More than young children, teenagers will often feel that they are compelled to take a side. The parents may talk more openly in front of the teenager, as they may feel they can handle it, and this can cause the teen to become part of the arguments. Additionally, parents may try to sway the teen to want to spend more time with them, since they often have a voice and a say in where they decide to live.

May Feel Like it is Their Fault

A teenager is more likely to feel that the divorce is a result of perhaps their bad behavior, or stress that their lives may have caused their parents. Be sure to watch for these signs and help them feel loved and supported in whatever environment they happen to be in.

Divorce can be difficult in any stage of a marriage, especially when children are involved. If you are thinking about divorce, contact a divorce attorney to find out more information on how to make the proceedings better for all parties involved.


Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

Find Us on Social Media

We're here at the Mile High Hook & Ladder Club Muster spreading the word and raffling off tickets to our Boo-athon Bowling Event! Come see us! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

We are grateful for the privilege to provide families with a true shopping experience at our Market. We thank our community supporters, churches, civic groups and The Emergency Food Assistance Program for helping us make this a reality. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

A BIG thank you to long time supporters - Columbine United Church for collecting food from FIVE King Soopers locations to stock our dwindling food market inventory! Your support will truly make a difference this summer, as our shelves become bare compensating for kids being off subsidized school meal programs. You have really helped provide for this need, gave hope and restored dignity to those in need.@kingsoopers ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

IFCS On Twitter

Thank you Columbine United Church for collecting food from FIVE @KingSoopersNews locations! Our families in need really appreciate your support! #dogood #charity #colorado #littleton

Thank you Dry Creek Sertoma for donating children and adult clothing! These donations are essential to filling our clothing bank to help those in need. #dogood #charity #clothing #colorado

A BIG thank you to Cub Scouts #0004 from the Trail Mark area. They conducted their first food drive in the neighborhood and made us the recipient. Wag a great first community service for the #cubscouts. #dogood #charity #colorado

Load More...

Key Sponsors

Our Affliations




Sign Up for our eNewsletter

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust

USDA Non-Discrimination Policy

IFCS follows the USDA non-discrimination policy. Learn more by clicking here to read the statement. (PDF)