Common Stereotypes About Children of Divorce

Navigating divorce is challenging, often compounded by societal stereotypes that judge individuals based on their marital status. These stereotypes perpetuate harmful assumptions and undermine individuals’ agency during this difficult period. It’s crucial to challenge these stereotypes and recognize the unique experiences within divorce, fostering empathy and support for individuals navigating this significant life transition.

When we talk about stereotypes of divorced children, we have to discuss how these stereotypes can not only harm a child in the short and long term but can stick with the child for many years to come. Furthermore, your child may find it challenging to see themselves as anything beyond that stereotype if they become aware that others judge and view them in that way. For that reason, I think it is important for you to understand the challenges for your family and especially for your children now that you are in the midst of a divorce or child custody case.

Common stereotype #1: the children have a favorite parent

This is probably a more common stereotype that you see parents show concern over versus other people. Suppose you have always had a close relationship with your children. One of the primary considerations you may face after divorce is whether you will maintain a strong relationship despite the challenges of raising children post-divorce. Among these challenges is avoiding problems with your child potentially choosing sides after divorce and picking one parent as their favorite or preferred parent. Whether or not this is likely for you or your family, I think you need to focus on what you can control about your child in your relationship with them.

During a divorce, prioritizing your children and ensuring they understand your alignment with their interests can be highly beneficial. This means that you should do everything possible to ensure that your child knows you are there for them and that their interests align with your own. Even if your children are young, they understand very well on an intuitive level where your interest lies in the divorce. If you are constantly making the case all about you, you will likely have some problems connecting with your child and rebuilding your relationship with them.

Parental alienation and maintaining relationships in divorce

Sometimes it is unavoidable that you will have a disruption in your relationship with your child. It would be amazing if you could avoid this sort of disruption within your own family during a divorce. However, so much happens within a divorce case that even the most resilient children and dedicated parents end up experiencing disruption to their relationship over time. This should not be your number one parameter as to whether or not you are experiencing positive or negative growth within your relationship with your child. It would help if you focused on your time spent with your children, your willingness to listen to their concerns, and your own efforts to continue working to improve your health. These are all efforts that will go a long way towards helping you succeed in helping your family during this difficult time.

In divorce or child custody cases, it’s frustrating that parents often use the circumstances to alienate their child from the other parent. Parental alienation is a big deal in Texas family law cases, and it’s certainly something that you should keep an eye on in your case and life. You can see alienation occur if your child suddenly starts acting out towards you or even being disrespectful to you in front of other people. Some children admittedly have problems with these issues, to begin with, period; however, if your child begins to active away, that is out of the ordinary for them along these lines, then you may be a victim of parental alienation.

Communication and co-parenting: key to mitigating parental alienation

Most frequently, DC alienation occurs when your child is being exposed to language about you that is far from positive. Many times this sort of language can be rather but nine, but sometimes it steps over the line and can be extremely harmful to your relationship with your child. Even having your Co-parent say casually negative things about you in front of your children can be enough to harm your relationship with them. Remember that your child is extremely impressionable no matter their age. For that matter, you need to keep an eye on what your child is exposed to at your home then have an open line of communication with your Co-parent about what is said in their home.

This can start with having an open line of communication with your Co-parent. Although it can be difficult to work together with your Co-parent during a difficult stretch of your lives, I still believe that you all are well equipped in that you love your children and want what is best for him or them. If you can remember your shared goals of doing what is best for your children during this case, then I think you can avoid the worst of any disruptions to your lives as a family. Remember that the family law case will not be forever. However, the wounds created as a result of the case can be extremely detrimental both now and in the future.

Fostering effective communication with your co-parent

I also find that when you have open lines of communication with your Co-parent, you are less likely to say negative things about them even when they cannot hear you. This means that you can build up trust with them while also working alongside them to raise your child as a team. That is the essence of Co-parenting and is the basis for engaging readily in these important subjects. For the most part, the problems that attorneys see spring up between families during divorce cases can be solved with communication and planning. If you fail to communicate and cannot plan changes along the way of your family lowercase with your Co-parent, you may experience difficulty both now and in the future.

Instead, encourage your Co-parent to talk with you regularly about what is happening with your child. For better or worse, having this open line of communication will encourage you all to walk through any potential problems in hopes of strengthening your child’s relationship with both parents. Many parents see their child’s love as a 0 sum game period cleaning that any affection your child gives to you will necessarily be taken away from the other parent and vice versa. This could not be farther from the truth and could work to harm your child a great deal in the long run.

View parenting as a continuous team effort

You can view raising your child as a continued team effort from now and into the future on a never-ending basis. There are very few cases where I see a child who would stand to benefit from only having contact with one of their parents. The odds are good that your family is not one of these exceptions but rather part of the trend where children do better with constant reinforcement from both parents. By refusing to engage in alienating behavior and working with your Co-parent, you could not only avoid the perception that your child favors one of you over the other but will be a key tool in developing strategies with your Co-parent to raise your child in a post-divorce world.

Finally, one of the important things to be aware of is that your child will either sink or swim in a post-divorce world based on your willingness to take the advice provided in a blog post like this and tailor the advice to perspectives that you have in actually raising your child. Do you know your child better than anyone? Certainly, you know your child better than some divorce attorneys or a family court judge. As a result, he should feel confident in taking the approach of tailoring this type of advice to the circumstances that are affecting your family.

Stereotype #2: children of divorce never recover fully

One of the reasons why some people delay getting a divorce that could send benefit them and their family in the long term is but they have heard that children who go through a divorce never fully recover from the stresses of their case. Some children never become involved in their parent’s case, whether through testifying in court or through working with their parents on plans for a childcare city schedule.

On the other hand, some children become involved in their parent’s divorced to a great extent by having to testify in court or even speak to a judge outside of the courtroom. It is my approach that children should be involved in a divorce case as little as possible if only two shield them as much as they can be from the stresses of a contested divorce case. We see this happened with cases where children become involved in the case and have some degree of difficulty shaking the stigma or involvement they’ve had.

We need to ask ourselves to what extent children can avoid difficulties associated with a divorce case regardless of their involvement in the case itself. Of course, you may be involved in a case where your child needs to play the role to one extent or another. I would never want to speculate whether or not your child needs to participate in a divorce case. With that said, I think that your child can overcome your divorce case in no small part due to having parents who take time and concern over the well-being of their children.

Talking to children about divorce: age-appropriate communication

Children can overcome divorce-related difficulties if parents communicate with them at an age-appropriate level. Tailoring the discussion to the child’s age can foster understanding. While some parents share limited details, others engage children more, sparking their curiosity as they seek information.

Very young children have less of a capacity for understanding the events of a divorce. This means that you do not and probably should not share too much information with them about your case. Mainly, you can share the constant love that you and your spouse have for your kids, well reinforcing the idea that you both will always be there for them no matter what circumstances seem to be befalling them otherwise. On the other hand, younger children have less capacity to understand what is happening in a case. For that reason, you should be careful about the information that you share with your younger children.

Older children have a greater capacity for understanding what is going on in your divorce. However, you still do not need to share overly personal details or specific information about the case as it pertains to things that may cause your child to experience negative thoughts about their other parent. This gets back to the parental alienation point that I was making earlier in today’s blog post; if you can avoid putting your child in a position where they have to concern themselves with a divorce constantly, then you are probably shielding them from most of the negative aspects of the case.

Post-divorce parenthood: proactive steps for your children

Post-divorce, time heals wounds, but proactive steps are essential for your child’s well-being. While children adapt to new circumstances, it’s unwise to rely solely on time for healing. Taking intentional steps and having a well-thought-out plan are crucial. Mere intentions aren’t enough; you must take concrete actions to safeguard your child’s long-term well-being.

For instance, your children may benefit from going to counseling or therapy together with you. I realize that counseling or therapy sometimes has negative connotations. Still, I can assure you that seeking help isn’t as much about the actual psychology of the circumstances as simply allowing you and your children to be able to have a dialogue with one another. Think back to your divorce. Unless you have many tools in your communication toolbox, you may be suffering from issues that need to be fixed by a professional. Simply going through with therapy can allow you to focus your attention on your children with the assistance of a person who can help you communicate with them.

You can gain access and information regarding therapy from the Internet and by contacting your health insurance provider. Many health insurance plans cover family therapy and things of this nature. However, you must make the first step towards getting these problems resolved with your family. Otherwise, you will find that these problems can linger and produce real harm for you and your children in the future.


Addressing and dismantling divorce stereotypes is essential for fostering a more empathetic and supportive environment for individuals navigating the complexities of divorce. By challenging these stereotypes, we can recognize the diverse experiences and needs within divorce, allowing individuals to assert their agency and find the support they need during this challenging life transition. Embracing empathy and understanding can help break down barriers and create a more inclusive space where everyone feels valued and supported, regardless of their marital status.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blogpost, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. These consultations are free of charge and are offered six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. Not only does a consultation help as far as teaching you more about the world of Texas familylaw, but they can also help you to anticipate how your family circumstances may change due to the filing of a divorce or child custody case.

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  2. Dirty Divorce Tricks Series: Using Children as Weapons
  3. Special Needs Children and Divorce in Texas
  4. Twists and Turns: Texas-style Divorce with Children
  5. Marrying a divorced man with children
  6. The Impact of Divorce on Children
  7. Children and Taxes Post-Divorce: The Basics
  8. Looking at the Impact of Children on a Texas Divorce
  9. How Divorce Can Affect Children
  10. Resources for Children of Divorce
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