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The Impact of Divorce on Children

When it comes to divorce in Salt Lake City, there are no winners. But there is plenty to lose. Unfortunately, the biggest losers are often the children. Children usually pay the price of a bitter divorce.  A bitter divorce not only can tear a family apart, it can also leave deep emotional scars that can last a lifetime. Research from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh indicates and it can also bring even physical effects, including higher risks of poor health and chronic illness. The research also further illustrates the huge role family stress places on everyone in the household.

Bitter Divorce


There are several different child custody and visitation arrangements throughout Utah. Although all divorced couples split up, many of them remain in contact with each other. But when a couple goes their separate ways without any further contact, it can bring surprisingly adverse effects to their children. The Carnegie Mellon study indicates stress has a huge effect on the body’s immune system. More than 200 healthy adults were exposed to a common cold virus to conduct the study. Those who had parents that lived apart with minimal communication were more than three times more likely to come down with the cold their counterparts whose parents remained together.


Ask any Salt Lake City divorce attorney and they can tell you a variety of stories how divorce affects the children. Children of divorce are also more likely to develop behavioral issues. Disobedience, anger, and depression are common. It can also cause a strain in the relationship between the child and their parents. One of the biggest tell-all signs is their performance in the classroom. It is not unusual for a child’s grades to plummet during and after a divorce. It is vital for parents to address the situation immediately. One solution is to communicate with the child’s teacher. Sometimes a child may require greater attention to addressing their issues in the classroom.


Divorce is particularly difficult for younger children. Many hold onto hopes of their parents getting back together. Adolescents begin to develop a greater sense of independence. However, it can also lead to greater antisocial behavior and a distancing from their parents. Parents often feel powerless because they have lost the trust of their child. Regaining trust is not easy. In most cases, it often take significant time. One of the most common solutions is the three R’s–routines, rituals and reassurance.


Most people assume that courts generally favor awarding women custody rights but that’s not necessarily true. Mothers not always win custody cases since they may not be in the best position to provide a stable environment for the children. The parent able to provide a safe atmosphere to raise the children is usually awarded custody. The custodial parent must be both physically and financially stable. In other words, the child’s basic needs such as food, clothes, healthcare, and shelter should be met otherwise his or her parenting abilities will be questioned and the judge will not grant custody.

While many judges lean towards awarding a mother custody, you can still hire a Salt Lake City child custody attorney and challenge these decisions. You can win joint custody unless your case involves physical abuse. If your former spouse was abusive, you will win the custody battle and become the custodial parent.


If you are a father fighting for your custody rights, don’t assume your former spouse will be awarded custody. While it is true women are generally awarded custody more than men, things have changed quite a bit since women entered the workforce. Many women don’t stay home with the children like they used to. In most cases, both parents work. In other words, both parents have the same level of involvement in their children’s lives.


If you and your former spouse work and split duties, you may both qualify to win custody. Even if you can’t win sole custody, you can be granted joint custody and have plenty of time with your children. When joint custody is awarded, parents have shared responsibilities in raising their children. While it may not feel like the perfect scenario, remember that thanks to improved laws now fathers can have equal rights to parenting time as mothers. It may not always be easy to get what you want but it is possible if you hire an experienced Salt Lake City child custody attorney.


Custody battles can be one of the most intense battles between divorcees. There is always a parent trying to make the other parent look bad. This is not a good approach as courts see such behavior as immature and unreliable. In other words, talking bad about your ex is not going to help improve the situation unless your former spouse is truly a bad parent. The best approach to winning child custody is showing why you are a trustworthy parent able to provide for your child’s physical and emotional needs. Try to stay home and spend time with the kids as much as possible. The more you get involved in your children’s lives the better your chances of winning the custody battle will be and don’t forget to have the kids stay at your place. The courts in Utah look at “overnights” – the more overnights, the better off you are.

Free Consultation when you need a divorce with kids

If you have a question about child custody question or if you need to collect back child support, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506