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The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

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Divorce Rates Go Up

divorceFifty-two. According to the Washington Post Fifty-two percent of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. When stumbling across this statistic, I found myself with my jaw to the floor in disbelief at how high this number is. Over the past decade, the divorce rate has increased, jumping from 49 percent to 52 percent. This means that roughly 52 percent of all once married couples are now divorced. With divorce being almost a cliché nowadays, it seems as if couples don’t think twice when it comes to signing the papers to legally end their marriage. It’s as if they forget that their divorce will not only affect them, but also their children.

For a child growing up with divorced parents, they feel stuck in the middle. When the holiday season comes around, it turns into World War III over who gets to have a big Thanksgiving dinner or spend Christmas opening up presents, watching a smile plastered across their child’s face, while the other half of the couple spends it celebrating all by their lonesome. Putting their own child in between their problems just makes things worse for all parties involved. According to Psychology Today, children of divorced parents that are constantly fighting over custody are less sociable and are more likely to be depressed.

According to The Heritage Foundation, children of divorced parents perform more poorly in reading, spelling and math, and are also more likely to be held back or repeat a grade. They also have higher dropout rates and lower rates of college graduation. This is because the child has to deal with going back and forth between parents, or a parent that is no longer present in their lives, which has harmful effects on their psychological state.

Children may also have to adjust to the addition of new members of the family that they may or may not get along with. Either way, the child now has to incorporate a new person into their lives while also managing the possible tension between their divorced parents. The adjustment is a huge one, and according to stepfamily.org, 1,300 stepfamilies form everyday with children reportedly becoming unhappy with their stepfamily.

It is obvious that divorce complicates things for a child, wedging them between a rock and a hard place. Whether it’s bouncing from home to home every other weekend, dealing with potential future stepparents, life for the child is a difficult adjustment. So maybe a married couple realizes things aren’t so hot between them. Maybe they realize marriage just isn’t their thing. But it seems like they’ve failed to realize the psychological effects that divorce can have on their kids and how much they alter how they will grow up. They should take that into consideration before breaking their sacred vows.

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