About 50% of marriages in the US end in divorce.
Divorce is hard on everyone. It can cause sadness, anger, stress, confusion, and many other emotions. Having feelings, thoughts, opinions, and questions about your parents' divorce is normal and okay. Let's discuss some of the common questions and feelings below:
How do two people decide to get divorced? Why is this happening?
- Divorce is not a rash decision. When a couple decides to divorce, it is usually because they both have had many discussions about where the marriage is going and if it can still work. Some couples get divorced because they can't agree on things, or they're fighting too much. Some couples get divorced because they don't feel connected anymore. Some people have different ideas about how to live their lives, and they're married to someone who does not share the same values. Every marriage and divorce is different.
Is it my fault? Could I have done something to prevent this?
- No, this is not your fault. Divorce is a decision made by adults about their marriage. Unfortunately, kids and teens don't have control over this. You are not the cause of your parents' divorce. The cause is problems in their marriage, which has nothing to do with you. It may feel like your fault, but it isn't.
What is custody?
- There is physical and legal custody when it comes to divorce situations. Physical custody refers to which parent/parents the child lives with. In divorce cases sometimes parents have sole physical custody (100% of the time the child lives with them) or custody can be joint as well (split time between two parent homes). Legal custody refers to the decisions made on the child's behalf including things such as educational decisions, medical decisions, etc. Parents again can either have joint legal custody, or one parent could have sole legal custody.
Sometimes the stress of a divorce can interfere with concentrating at school. If you notice that you're struggling to complete assignments because you can't stop thinking about the divorce or your family, we encourage you to check-in with someone on the wellness team. The wellness team can help you make sense of what is happening with your family, and help you move forward.
For more information check out some Teen FAQ regarding divorce.