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How divorce could impact the health of the children involved

Divorce is never easy. This even applies for California couples who agree that getting a divorce is the best choice. Even when spouses are on board and are amicably working through the process, this does not mean that the children involved in the process are happily going along with it. In fact, the process impacts children whether it is a peaceful or contentious life event. The fact of the matter is that dissolving a marriage is a major step that will alter the lives of everyone involved. And for children of divorce, this means their life is different moving forward.

A child will not be living in just one home but will now have a room at two places. Additionally, a child will not have constant access to both parents at the same time. A custody plan will outline the parenting time and rights of each parent. These changes alone can seem drastic to a child, and a recent study discovered that divorce could have long-term health impacts on children as well.

According to this study, it was found that children of divorce were three times more likely to catch a cold virus when compared to those children with parents that are still married. Researchers found that this higher rate of infection was due to the increased risk caused by heightened inflammation as a response to the viral infection.

The study uncovered evidence that stressful life experiences, such as divorce, can alter our physiology, which results in an increase risk of future illnesses. And stressful or adverse experiences during childhood has been linked to the risk of a lowered immune system and the risk of future diseases.

But the truth of the matter is that children are not put at a higher risk for health issues just because their parents got a divorce. This is the risk for children involved in a heated divorce where parents were unable to be civil with one another post-divorce. For children of divorce with parents collaborating and working together to meet the needs of the children, there were no indications that these children were at a higher risk for infections.

It is clear that the divorce process will impact parents and children to some degree. However, it is also clear that divorcing parents have the ability to limit the negative effects it could have on a child. Thus, it is important that divorcing parents understand what resources and tools they have to address any family law issues they might encounter during dissolution.

Source: Mothering.com, "Study: Messy Divorce Impacts a Child's Health Decades Later," Sheramy Tsai, July 19, 2017

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