The Damage Nasty Divorces Do to Children

In this article by Miles Morrison, LCSW we learn about how messy divorces where the parents are fighting to win the divorce cause severe damage to their children.

“Our caseload of messy divorce cases increases year after year, and after a number of years of seeing the remains of these cases, we are beginning to see these children become adults, and the dysfunctions of their own relationships. Like it or not, these children who are now adults and having relationships, have learned the unhealthy ways taught to them by their parents’ actions and words.”

“Quite often, these unnecessarily messy divorces are fueled by a parent or parents who demonstrate narcissistic tendencies, sociopathic behaviors, and vindictive anger. Their children often develop depression, anxiety, separation issues, substance and alcohol abuse, and personality disorders that may not be remedied.”

“Some of the more prevalent signs of the OBSESSED ALIENATORS:

  • They are absolutely obsessed with destroying the other parent’s relationship with the child.
  • They have instilled in the child to express the feelings of the parent instead of the child’s own, based on the alienators’ experiences, not the child’s.
  • They will show up in court with an entourage of family friends, quasi-political supporters and religious leaders to attempt to persuade the judge to be swayed.
  • They want the court to punish the other parent by blocking visitation with the child. They believe in a higher cause that is beyond the understanding of a judge.
  • The court’s authority does not intimidate them.


  • They have an intense hatred toward the other parent.
  • They repeat word for word the words of the alienator.
  • They have unfounded and irrational beliefs toward the other parent.
  • They feel no guilt for how they treat the alienated parent, the parent’s family, or others who are supportive of that parent.
  • They can appear normal UNTIL THE SUBJECT OF THE ALIENATED PARENT COMES UP. Then, the hatred appears.”

Read the article to see what attorneys and therapists can do to help these kids.  But most importantly, be aware that your behavior as a divorcing parent in divorce can not only damage your financial security, but can also damage your children. Is it worth it?

Click here to read the entire article.

Parents: Don’t drag your children into your divorce depression

Why I primarily focus on the financial aspects of divorce, I do also help mediation clients with their parenting plans.  While, of course, the financial aspects are important to get right for the future financial viability of both parents, making sure that the children are Mother and Daughter Baking Togetherminimally affected by the divorce is even more important.

I ran across this article by Rosalind Sedacca this morning, and wanted to share it.  It includes a good analysis and suggestions for helping children to adjust to the emotional changes and challenges that parents face when going through divorce.

Helping Children Cope with Divorce

See this  Link to excellent short article from  Miami Children’s Hospital.

Key point is that the degree to which children are impacted by divorce is usually connected to the amount of conflict they are exposed to during the process.  Choosing an adversarial approach to divorce (ie litigation) is bound to increase the conflict and thus the potential damage to your children.  Taking the high road, and choosing a non adversarial approach (not always possible, I recognize) such as non-represented mediation or collaborative, can be a more satisfying process and less expensive process, and more satisfying result, because you are in charge of your own outcomes (not relying on a third party to decide for you).