Children of divorce suffer many consequences because of the divorce of their parents (legacies of divorce). Many legacies of divorce can cause immediate problems for some children. Other legacies impact the child of divorce for years to come. While some children seem to breeze through the divorce of their parents with no lasting impact at the time the divorce occurs, many will find themselves wrestling with various consequences later on in life and throughout their adult years.
Several researchers divide the legacies of divorce into two different time frames. Short-term legacy is the term used to define the consequences that affect the child at the time the divorce occurs and immediately following. Long-term legacy represents those consequences that impact the child of divorce later on in their teen or adult years.
Not every child of divorce will personally experience every short-term or long-term legacy. Much depends on the child’s support system, the child’s personality, the relationship with both parents, how the child is told about the divorce, how the parents experience the divorce individually, and the relationship, actions and attitudes of the parents after the divorce occurs.