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Does divorce lead to juvenile delinquency?

Getting a divorce may be hard on your family. Younger children may act out, and teens might start staying away from home to avoid conflicts or situations they’re not comfortable with. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, your child may be extremely uncomfortable, unhappy, angry and upset.

Major changes in a teen’s life could prompt them to start hanging out with new people or to be reckless in their actions. They might act out to try to get attention or because they’re unhappy and feel like they no one cares about what happens to them.

Studies have shown that children from divorced homes do have higher rates of delinquency, which includes acts such as:

·       Crimes against person

·       General delinquency

·       Tobacco and drug use

·       Status offenses

·       Felony theft

Unfortunately, making mistakes now could affect your child for the rest of their life. This is why it’s so important to work with an attorney if your child is accused of a crime.

Divorce doesn’t mean delinquency will follow

It’s important to note that getting a divorce doesn’t mean that your child will cause trouble or commit crimes, but there is a higher risk of it depending on the situation that you’re in. For that reason, it’s important for parents to take steps to help their children adapt to their changing situations. For example, if you have to divorce, sitting down and explaining that you’ll be divorcing and what your child can expect may help relieve many of their concerns.

If your child is upset and starts acting unlike themselves, then you may want to sit down with them and discuss their actions and why they’re inappropriate. If that doesn’t work, it may be worth your time to invest in a professional and to have your child speak with a therapist.

Monitor your child’s coping mechanisms

The most common kind of delinquency noted was underage alcohol consumption. Drinking is often a coping mechanism, so if you catch your child doing this, speak with them. They may need more support and guidance than you expected to get through the divorce, and this is an act that should be a red flag to you as a parent.

Divorces are difficult. If your child is not adapting, make sure you take time to get them the help they need. If they get into trouble with the law, know that you do need to take action to help prevent this instance from affected them in the long term.