Have you spent nights worrying about the impact your divorce could have on your children? Children who have trouble at home often act out in school. Could your divorce do the same?

How does divorce affect children’s education?

A new UCLA study revealed that divorce affects children differently. While most research agrees that children of a stormy marriage do better after a divorce, this research expands on that. It found that when children of stable marriages experienced an unexpected divorce, their academics suffered.

These children, typically teenagers, experienced the following:

  • Decreased chance of graduating from high school
  • Decreased academic attendance and test scores
  • Decreased chance of attending college or higher education

Children of high-divorce risk families, on the other hand, did not experience these effects. It seems that children and teens who are used to rolling along waves of a troubled home life fare better than those used to calmer waters.

Knowing these probabilities, you can try to focus on stabilizing your children’s life rather than making a failing marriage work. This stabilizing can look like providing extra academic support during the divorce.

What can you do to help?

Even friendly divorced parents can work on their communication skills. Your children’s academics could benefit too.

The following steps could help maintain your child’s academic success:

  • Find a way to regularly communicate with each other about your child’s upcoming tests.
  • Discuss how you will pay for college or advanced education early and often.
  • Ask your child about what they would like to do after they graduate and how they feel about it.
  • Connect them with mentors and guidance counselors to help them find opportunities.

Your child does not have to another statistic. However, as a parent it can help you to know what risks your child faces based on their demographics and life experiences. If you go into your divorce aware of the effects and are prepared to face them, you can find a happier new normal.

How does divorce affect children’s education?