By: Shauna Smith
When individuals think of divorce, they often think of the stressors associated with it. Such as, financial burdens, emotional distress, and major time commitments. What they often forget is that not only are the adults victim of the challenges in divorce, but the children as well. To better understand how they feel about divorce and what tips they offer to adults, Real individuals have participated in an interview in hopes of helping others have a better experience.
According to a college student named Kyle, the hardest part of his parent’s divorce was the lack of respectful communication between them and he often felt like they were putting him in the middle of their personal issues with one another. He urges parents to remember to have respect for the person regardless of the reason for separation even if the individuals no longer have the same love. Kyle states, “It is difficult to live with parents separately when they are getting divorced because of the way they talk about one another and how they throw you in the middle of it, when you love and respect them both, it is hard to choose a side in order to appease them”. Kyle has found the way his parents treat each other to be detrimental to his own personal relationships and tries to learn the right ways to behave from the wrong ways of the divorce.
While interviewing another college student who would like to remain anonymous, she explained that the biggest challenge she faced during the divorce of her parent’s was the priority of money and the unfair division of assets. A common scene in divorce cases is one or both of the adults in the marriage may go after money in order to feel fulfillment from the separation. This can include properties, vehicles, and personal possessions. In the case of the student, she felt it would have been helpful for her parents to split the assets 50/50 in order to avoid conflict and confusion. Instead, her father was forced to pay more along with 100% of her living costs such as, her schooling and other fees. According to her, “They had previously agreed on a 50/50 split of all money and assets, but as they became more bitter, my mother went after more money and now my dad is responsible for all of my living expenses which was completely opposite of their verbal agreement. This has caused so many fights and so much stress for me, I often worry about instability and I wish they could have been fair with each other given they were married and raised children together”. As seen in her interview, it is important to exhibit emotional maturity for the best interest of the children.
Lastly, the final interview was perhaps the most thought provoking. Lisa, a senior at NYU, recalled the story about her parents separating but agreeing not to divorce. As much as divorce is viewed as a long and difficult process, it can be much harder watching two people who are not good for one another stay married. Lisa states, “The stigma surrounding divorce is real, it’s scary, expensive, and people try to avoid it at all costs, my family included. My parents separated but decided to stay married for my siblings and I and it just ended up being awful, my parents had dates, we were meeting new people and it just made no sense to confuse us all”. While avoiding divorce seemed like a smart thing for Lisa’s parents to do in their eyes, it caused more conflict, and less peace for the family.
After conducting these interviews and hearing the point of views from the children in divorce, it is imperative that as parents, it must be considered and respected to make peace for yourselves and your children. Divorce is a separation but not a divide of being civil.