Study: divorce affects high-asset kids more than low-income kids

Whether you see it coming or not, divorce usually has a profound effect on just about everyone who has gone through it. Rarely ever simple, divorce often takes an emotional toll on every party associated with the separation, including children who may be just as powerless as you are with what’s going on.

During the entire divorce process, including before and after, the main question on most people’s minds is: how is this affecting the children? It may be a difficult question to answer for some, especially if the child is good at hiding their feelings or does not seem fazed by the change in the family dynamic.

According to a new study conducted by the University of Chicago and Georgetown University, if you and your spouse are going through a high-asset divorce, your child may be affected by it more than you think. How you might ask? Let’s take a look.

Researchers reached this conclusion after looking at survey responses from mothers starting in 1986 and ending in 2008. The mothers, who were all divorced at the time of the survey, were asked to assess their child’s emotional health during the years following the separation. They were asked to note any changes in the child’s development, health and overall well being.

After looking at the data, researchers noticed that children from low-income families displayed less internal and external behaviors compared to their high-income counterparts. Even though researchers could show this correlation, the data left little in the way of an explanation for why this was occurring.

The best guess given by researchers is that divorce is more common in middle- to low-income households. The effect of a divorce on low-income children may be significantly less because they have others in their peer group going through the same thing. Among high-income children, there may be fewer opportunities for peer support.

It’s worth pointing out that even though researchers noticed a trend, it should not be considered as the standard. Every divorce is different, meaning what happens to one family may not necessarily happen in another, which is something we hope our high-asset readers will keep in mind.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorce Hits Children In Higher-Income Families The Hardest, Study Says,” Rebecca Adams, Sept. 15, 2014