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Family Law: California Divorce Blawg
Majority of Children of Divorce Think Both Parents Are Equal When It Comes To Custody
By John E. Harding, JD, CFLS
I came across a survey of kids, and their thoughts on divorce. The survey asked two questions:
1) Are mothers and fathers equally capable for caring for young children following a divorce?
2) Are mothers and fathers equally qualified to care for teens following a divorce?
68.64% of the kids responding said that yes mothers and fathers are equally capable of caring for young children following a divorce. 75.80% of the kids responding said that mothers and fathers are equally capable of caring for teens following a divorce.
The survey also included a third question: In a divorce, what do teens want parents to know about their feelings?
The answers were not a surprise. Repeatedly the kids explained that they did not want their parents to get divorced, and they did not want the family broken up. I have snipped some of the other comments (beyond the "we don't want a divorce" type) to show how sensitive kids are to conflict, and how damaging it is to the kids when there parents go on the warpath. As a family law lawyer I can attest to the fact that there can be divorce with dignity. This survey shows why it is so important!
Here is what the kids had to say about their parents divorce:
They love them
How much it hurts. Also, its hard not to wish that they could go back in time and do something to try to prevent it.
Most kids just want to be left alone.
It hurts. You feel bad. It feels like your world is crashing down.
That they are lost and hurting and want to know their parents love them and that it's not their fault
They want to know its not their fault, and why they are getting divorced.
I want them to know that it hurts.
That is it not easy for us at all. Seeing parents divorced or growing up without mom and dad living together makes our whole view of life different. We become more independent and strong. Marriage and kids are not such a positive thing anymore.
They love them.
That it's not easy, even though I don't have divorce I can still picture how it must feel. They must feel like crying and screaming.
Parents should constantly keep kids aware of what's going on because otherwise children feel neglected and disrespected. Kids also want their parents to know that-simply-they (we) can handle the truth of the situation.
We wonder the cause of the break, and worry about our own future family.
They will always love them no matter what and they aren't taking sides.
They are sad and lonely.
Well, having 5 of my friends with divorced parents, they all tell me that they hate that the parents never communicate with each other
That the divorce was not their fault.
It hurts like hell, and it makes you think that all marriages suck.
That it's not their fault.
They want to let them know how they feel. Sometimes it breaks them apart but other times they're okay with it since they realize that it's better for both parents if they just get a divorce.
We are going through too much to handle and we really need an open relationship and to talk. We are also kinda mad at you.
They want parents to know that they don't want to feel like their parents are competing for them (trying to either fight for custody or just who gives the best presents).
That they are saddened that they cannot have peace in their household, especially because generally there is nothing they can do to help the situation.
I don't know, my parents have never split. I think though that it's that they resent them for not being able to keep it together, that they're weak and the kids need them to be strong...
That the parents had enough love to create them, so they should have enough dedication to one another not to hurt the children.
Sometimes, they might feel responsible. They feel helpless and feel stuck in the middle. Mom tries to convince you that Dad is a bad person, and Dad tries to convince you that Mom is the one in the wrong.
That just because they are divorced, doesn't mean that they should complain about each other to their kids because it makes them all confused on what's real and what's a lie.
They pretty much want their parents to know how hard it is for them to imagine a world where they're not together. It's important for parents to know how unfair it seems to children even if it isn't.
We hate when you fight.
Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.
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