Play Nice. The Kids are Watching!

New Mexico parents involved in a divorce or child custody dispute should pay attention to the results of a recent study from the University of Toronto. The study shows the long term affects that divorce can have on children.

The research, which was published by the Journal Psychiatry Research, showed that adults from divorced families were more likely to have had suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives than those from non-divorced families. The results showed that men from divorced families were more likely to experience suicidal thoughts than women.

The study further found that factors such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, parental unemployment and parental addiction could also influence the occurrence of suicidal thoughts.

Many of these issues are commonly present in New Mexico divorces. Parents should be aware of these risk factors. When they are present, they should be even more vigilant in protecting the children from the effects of divorce. Some of the risk factors may be difficult to avoid such as unemployment. The others are either within the control of the parents or a phone call away from help in dealing with these issues.

Obviously, this study shouldn‘t cause all parents contemplating divorce, or who are already divorced, to panic. However, it should remind all parents that their focus during a divorce or custody dispute should be on their children and protecting their children‘s best interests.

The New Mexico courts will often order the parties in domestic relations cases to participate in counseling or co-parenting classes, but that may not be enough. A counselor cannot monitor parents 24 hours a day. Neither can the Courts. It is up to the parents to minimize the negative effects divorce will have on the children.

Keep in mind that even the most amicable divorce leaves lasting scars on a child. Just imagine what a high conflict divorce and child custody action will do to a child. Both actions and words have lasting consequences. This is never more true than in a divorce action.

Collins & Collins, P.C.
Albuquerque Attorneys

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