We often read about the statistics concerning divorce. We hear how the divorce rate is changing, how divorce law is changing and we all know about celebrities who divorce. But hidden behind the figures and the gossip stories are real people going through really tough times. Make no mistake; divorce takes its toll on many people and especially on the family involved in the split.
The first impact on the family is that of finance. After the divorce, families who had two incomes or large properties may suffer from bankruptcy. If there’s a non-working spouse then the family may suddenly fall short as far as income goes. They may receive alimony, child support and other government benefits, but if they were used to a good income before, they may certainly drop financially after the divorce. And if you had two incomes paying for the one residence, suddenly there are two residences and the couple is not sharing expenses. It can be very different and tough from a financial point of view. Two can certainly live cheaper than one.
Then there is the actual cost of the divorce itself. If lawyers are engaged and the spouses choose to fight it out in court, the only winners here are the lawyers. And if the case drags on, any employed spouse will need to take time off work and that can mean a drop in income. So there are costs to consider in getting divorced.
Then there is the change in status. A spouse will lost a partner that or she hoped would be with him or her for life, and any children suddenly will have a divided time between their parents. This family problem can affect self-esteem – adults and kids. They were once a family unit, a stable ‘company,’ and now they are divided and living part. They may worry and be sad. This can affect their mental health. Divorce has several side effects.
Divorce involves anger, blame and hostility. This sort of behavior is never pleasant. It affects the children, the extended family as well as friends and neighbors. Lifestyle change is another aspect of a divorce. Maybe a spouse will have to return to work; maybe another will have to change jobs so as to be home to care for kids. Less money means no budget for extras like movies and restaurants. When some people divorce they move down in the real estate market; a not-so-nice suburb and a much smaller house and car.
Now having said all of that, divorce does not mean the end of the family. People can adjust, kids can still see both their parents, spouses can meet someone new and the world does not stop because a marriage fails. Sure the effects of a divorce can be harsh, but life goes on and hopefully those who divorce can find a way to move on with their lives.