Major Complications of Divorce with Children

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright 1999


One is your children. Splitting up is so disruptive to their lives. Children tend to blame their own behavior for the divorce. Caring this guilt around can be very damaging. If you choose divorce, remember to:

1. Tell them both of you love them and will never leave them as you have left each other. The difference is they are your blood relatives. You could never leave them. This will have to be said often.

2. Another item that needs saying is that they did not cause the divorce. Just say that it was a difference of opinion that couldn't be resolved.


In general, women with children, who get divorced and get custody of the children sink to the levels of poverty. Many of these women seek jobs but do not have the skills to make the major bucks it takes to pay a sitter and for all the other expenses of life. Many are forced to quit and go on state welfare. An education (tuition and books) can be gotten through free governmental money given through the Pell Grant.

Child care assistance is available through the state but there is usually a wait list of 6 to 8 months and the applicant still has to have a part-time job to pay a portion of the day-care bill. This means that either the mother hardly sees her children for four years while going to school and keeping a part-time job to pay the daycare, or go on welfare assistance. Sometimes the mother's family can provide free daycare.

Many women depend on the Ex paying the court ordered child support and alimony. Many have come to see that the Ex pays it late, or makes partial payments, or do not pay at all. Some of these women have gone back to court to get a court ruling to garnish the husbands wages. To do this the court has to know where the husband is employed to serve the papers to the employer. When this happens some husbands quit and get another job and the process starts over as soon as you can find out where he is employed. Some husbands leave the area or state to avoid paying alimony and child support and are never heard from again.

Single with Children

Marriage to a women with children is very difficult but not impossible. The prospective husband is not only marring you but all your children.

The children become resentful of their new stepfather for taking over the place of their father. Many hold the fantasy that their parents will get back together again. Therefore the stepfather has to work double-time to make things work out.

There is also the perceived but not meaning to slights and true slights that the stepfather may make against the children. These cause hard feelings between the stepfather and the children, between the couple, and between the children and the mother because the children wrongly perceive that the mother loves her new husband more then them. All these feelings need to come out in the open to be aired out and dealt with equitably.

For helps see: Blended Families

Custody Granted to the Birth Father

Some Ex's sue the court for custody just to spite the mother, because he knows that is the way to hurt her the most. Some sue for custody because they truly love their children and want them with them. Many of these feel that they can better provide for the monitory and emotional needs better than the mother.

Boys from about age 5 to adulthood need their father or a good male role model to see what being a male means. Girls need there mothers of a good female role model to become an emotionally healthy female. The courts take this into account when they award custody.

Few Good Men Available

More bad news... Right now there is a glut of single women and very few single men. Most of the good ones are all taken. Currently to get a good man you have to wait for his wife to die. The good news is that many women do not take care of themselves and are dropping like flies.

Visitation Rights of the Non-Custodial Parent

At the time of the divorce the courts will stipulate the rights of the non-custodial parent. Depending on what the court has excepted as truth about the non-custodial parents mental stability and or violent nature, the probability of parental kidnapping,, proven issues of child abuse or molestation the court will decide what if any visitation rights the non-custodial parent has.

Parental Kidnapping of His/Her Own Children

This happens all the time and continues to happen because the non-custodial or custodial parent cannot tolerate the limitations and/or stipulations the court has put on their ability to have access to his/her children. Many of these children are never found.

These children lead an unhealthy nomadic and paranoid lifestyle. Whenever the parent feels there is danger they uproot the children and start again somewhere else. The parent and the children are often assume aliases so they cannot be tracked by the law. Not having school records in the child's birth names cause many of the moves. The parent will try to keep the child in school as long as possible without school records but when the school refuses to keep them for lack of records, the move on.

The Rights of the Ex's Grandparents

The children and ex-grandparents have the right to see each other. When this tight is withheld many grandparents have gone to court to have the court legally define their rights. Whether visitation is voluntary or court ordered there are still hard feelings of them against you. It is another piece of the picture to consider.


Just to make sure that you are doing the right thing you should run your decision past God. I wouldn't make a move on something this important without consulting Him.

Should you stay in this marriage?

Take a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle of the sheet making two columns.

On the top of the first list write "Pro's." These the positive things about the issue.

On the top of the second column write "Con's." These are the negative things about the issue.

Ask the Lord to help you list all the items dealing with this issue. Now, list all the items about the issue under the appropriate column.

Ask the Lord to help you to understand the importance of each item listed by assigning it a fair numeric value. Giving an item a "ten" means that it is of the utmost importance. Assigning it a "one" means that it has little or no importance. A "five," of course means, that it is middle of the road; not extremely important, but not unimportant either. Now, assign each item a value.

Add up the numeric value of each item, in each column, to see which has the most important items listed. The one with the higher value means more to you and should give you your decision. Now that you have studied it out in your mind Ask God if you decision is correct.

* A "Yes" answer is a burning of the bosom or a warm swelling feeling in the chest area and/or accompanied by a feeling that all is well or right.

* A "No" answer is a stupor of thought or a dull cloudy feeling in your head. Your thoughts are hard to hold on to or disappear.

Moroni 10: 4-5

4. ". . . and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ,

He will manifest the truth of it unto your, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Now ask the Lord to help you do what you must to put your decision into work. This may take a great deal of planning. Do your planning now with the Lord.

Then actuate your plan and put your decision to work. James 2:20 ". . . faith without works is dead.


Have God with you through out your day as a companion.

You may not find good companion in this life. Many people have found a true companion in the Lord. How do you go about having God as your companion through out the day? Just make Him your friend.

How do you make a close friend? Do you talk, share confidences, go for walks together, cook together, cloud-watch to look for shapes, and laugh and cry together?

Do the things that I have suggested above and more. Make your God someone who you can and would want to go to for any reason, just to be near Him, because you have come to love Him so much. So much so that you can't stand to be away from Him because it would break your heart.

Note: As you know, all prayers do not have to take place on your knees. A pray can be only a thought away.

Divorce with children is an awful situation for everyone. Having a healthy lifestyle as a single parent with children is very difficult especially for a women. Remarriage with children involved is difficult also.

If you opt for divorce make sure that you have the Lord's support. He can make up the difference if you have Him as your companion through out the day. Help your children to seek Him also as their companion to be with them for the whole day. With that kind of help in your family, you can make it through.

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

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