Emotions over parental divorce can continue into college

Parental divorce can impact kids past childhood, into college and beyond. Whether the divorce was many years ago or occurred as they were preparing to leave the nest and head to college, the emotions can still be strong.

One clinical psychologist notes that it's normal to feel a range of emotions, no matter what your age, when your parents break up, and that people should deal with them rather than ignore them or try to suppress them. She explains, "Emotions are actually designed to help us. They're designed to tell us when something is wrong. And in time we need to pay attention to it."

Getting away from the situation and going off to college can be a good thing. Kids who spent a large part of their childhood listening to their divorced parents complain about each other may feel a burden lifted.

One college student whose parents split up when she was a child says now if one of them calls her and starts to complain about her other parent, she says, "You know, I don't want to talk about it. I'm having a good day, I don't want to be affected by it, what you're talking about.''

Many parents wait until their kids are headed off to college or already in college to divorce, thinking that it will impact them less. However, that's not necessarily true. Another student, whose parents broke up when she was a high school senior says, "I never thought I was going to be the one with divorced parents growing up because I thought everything was fine, and then one day it wasn't fine…."

It's important for divorced parents to recognize that even though their kids may be thousands of miles away at college, the divorce and the way they handle it can still impact them. Sending a child off to college may also bring up some financial issues for divorced parents if they haven't already planned for who will pay for their kids' higher education and living expenses.

If you are having issues regarding these expenses, your New York family law attorney can work to help you so that you can avoid giving your son or daughter one more thing to worry about.

Source: The Battalion, "Students cope with emotional side effects of parents’ divorce," Katherine Garcia, Nov. 01, 2017

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