What Are the Negative Effects of Divorce?

Nobody should have to suffer through a failing marriage. The hopes of a forever future with your best friend may seem like they’re fading into a background of arguments and disappointment.

For many, including 40 to 50 percent of married couples, it may feel like the only way out is divorce.

But does it have to be that way? Just like most important life decisions, a good place to start would be a list of pros and cons. And while with divorce, the list of pros seems to be a long one, the same can be said about the list of cons.

The fact is, the negative effects of divorce can be monumental. As a result, many couples have given a second thought to divorce. Others have seen the positive outcome related to seeking couples therapy as an alternative to divorce. 

So, what about you? Think about this as your guide on how NOT to get divorced, and consider some negative effects of divorce you may want to think about.

Emotional Health and Well-Being Are Key Effects of Divorce

It’s been said that the top two most difficult life experiences a person can deal with are death and divorce. Why? When a couple decides to divorce, their mental and physical health can take a hard hit.

Studies have shown that the effect stress can have on your body are drastic. There are many physical side effects because of stressful life events like divorce. These can include headache, muscle pain, chest pain, fatigue, upset stomach, and problems with sleeping.

And with physical ailments like these, your mental well-being is sure to go downhill as well. Some experience things like anxiety, lack of focus or motivation, and depression.

And what if the couple has children? Divorce effects include a wide range of symptoms for those who have to watch a marriage crumble from the sidelines. Aside from experiencing some of the same issues as an adult, a child can have a problem processing what’s happening.

Anxiety and depression are some of the most common mental disorders diagnosed among children. And the traumatic effect of watching their parents’ union dissolve can last a lifetime for some.

Often, children will lay the blame where they feel it is appropriate and act out with behavioral problems in school and at home. This has affected some children dramatically, lowering their performance at school, social relations, and even their future earning power.

Financial Impact

While it is common knowledge that divorce, especially with children or financial assets are involved, isn’t cheap. But there are more financial factors besides the initial cost of lawyers, fees, and splitting one household into two.

An obvious problem is that now, instead of two incomes contributing to one rent or mortgage, there are now two sources of expenses. Those who find themselves on their own again find that it’s a lot harder to manage than when there were two.

In other words, managing bills while juggling other responsibilities by themselves comes with a high price tag. The long-term cost of divorce is tremendous, with more and more single parents having to rely on government financial help.

If there are children involved, there is even more financial impact to think of. Issues such as disagreements over child support and alimony can be lengthy and cost a lot of money.

Even with a divorce settlement, things are far from over. Child support and alimony payments begin. Extra costs involved with childcare and transportation start to rack up. The strain on the wallet gets excessive. 

And what about those after-school soccer practices, piano lessons, and the like? Finding cost-worthy solutions to scheduling family necessities is much harder.

Tasks that were once handled together can impact employment. Having to take an extra amount of vacation days or sick leave can invite frustration, a cut in pay, or worse.

A Loss of Relationships

While reasons to not get divorced vary, many do not realize the impact a divorce can have on their social circle. Relationships that came along with the marriage are strained at best, and some have ended altogether.

For example, most divorced couples remember the good times they once had with their in-laws at family gatherings. And when couples get together, ongoing friendships are brought into the equation. As the relationship progresses into marriage, those social connections incorporate into their routine.

Divorce has the potential to change a lot of that. While most adults want to do the “mature thing,” the fact is that retaining some of these friendships and relationships takes a lot of hard work. And when a couple’s marriage ends in disputes and heartache, family and close friends have a tendency to take sides, even if they do not voice it. 

This can make for uncomfortable conversations or even potential arguments due to the pain that a severed marriage can leave in its wake. And as mature as most adults strive to be, emotions run strong. It can leave people feeling injured emotionally and less inclined to reach out like they used to, even if it isn’t their marriage that ended.

Let’s face it. Watching people you love and care about go through an extended painful process can be hard to watch. It’s even harder not to get somewhat emotionally involved.

Consider All Divorce Effects Before Making a Decision

Of course, the decision is always ultimately up to the couple. However, considering what can happen when getting a divorce (and beyond) might give someone pause. Not only that, looking into all the factors involved and the negative effects of divorce may help save a relationship that does not have to be lost.

Are you looking for more marriage advice? Do you need some pointers on how to keep your love alive? Read more of our interesting blog posts or contact us today to see how we can help you.