At What Age Are Children Most Impacted by Divorce?

When it comes to an age where children are impacted the most by divorce, there isn’t a definite age since divorce affects people of all ages. Although they might experience it differently.

If you have kids, you’re probably worried about how they’ll be impacted by your divorce. For some reason, divorce seems to affect elementary-age kids most. Here is how divorce impacts the lives of children based on their age.

Under the age of 3

You probably shouldn’t worry since they’d never remember. A 2011 study shows that kids under the age of 3 rarely remember previous events in their life, while children as young as 4 were asked to recall precious memories in their life.

In the next interview, these narrated memories were recalled but unfortunately, the kids could remember. They even denied ever saying so. This proved that younger ones find it hard to retain early memories.

Elementary school-age (6-12)

Studies show that this age group is the toughest age for children to deal with divorce. The reason is simple, they can remember when they use to be one family, even grasp the concept of conflict, though not fully.

When these kids are dealing with divorce, you might hear comments such as

  • If you love me, why can’t you stay together?
  • Is this because I don’t do what I’m told?
  • What did I do?

If parents don’t address these questions properly, the kids might think they have something to do with the divorce. Notice the pattern, and assure them how much they are loved and will always be loved. 

Remind them countless times if possible that it isn’t their fault. Emotions are dynamic, which means sometimes they might lash out in anger, even get depressed. You need to be ready for the signs, and seek out ways to help your kid process the divorce healthily.


Once your kids are teenagers, they can understand the underlying cause of the divorce. Most teenagers are self-centered and will rarely question their parent’s love as much as they will want to go on with their life.

The only thing your teenage one might worry about is how it will make them feel in social situations, like wondering if they will have to move away from their friends. If your marriage was toxic, they can also understand that sometimes divorce has the potential to make something better.

However, don’t forget that your teenage one is still a kid and will need your support to accept the new reality. Also, you need a strong representative as you get ready to journey on this path. In that case, get in touch with us by calling or using our contact form.