Essay Sample on Effects of Divorce on Mothers

Published: 2023-03-30
Essay Sample on Effects of Divorce on Mothers
Type of paper:  Literature review
Categories:  Parenting Relationship Stress Childhood
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1395 words
12 min read

Cases of a divorce, whether voluntary or forced by circumstance have been prevalent in today's society. Marital separation tends to create a distance between both the spouses and their children. While any party may initiate divorce in a marriage, it can have both positive and negative impacts on the financial, emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing of mothers.

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Financial effect

A divorced woman will generally have less money than the average married woman. A research article by Kessler (2018) reveals that divorced mothers report 19 % lower incomes than their counterfactuals while fathers have a 24 % higher income after a divorce. Several factors put mothers at risk of a decline in economic wellbeing; Firstly, they cohabit with their children and have the primary financial responsibility and secondly, after separation, they have lower income than fathers, and often have restricted labor market opportunities (Kessler, 2018). A mother will have no support from the spouse's salary, and thus she will have less money for household expenses and to pay bills.

Divorced mothers tend not to recover from the financial aftermath that accompanies divorce until they remarry. However, after a divorce, a mother may become independent and make personal choices as to where to invest their money to stimulate growth. A mother may feel that she has financial freedom, mainly where she thought that the spouse was financially irresponsible in controlling all finances.

Psychological effect

Mothers that have experienced a divorce present significantly higher intensity symptoms in areas of depression, somatization, hostility, and phobic anxiety than mothers who have not experienced a divorce (Jurma, 2015). The high level of depression translates to a hostile parenting style by the mother. The psychological symptoms, together with the hostile parenting style, tend to harm the mother to child relationship (Jurma, 2015). Divorced mothers experience higher psychological effects than married women.

A mother after divorce also may have trust issues, especially those involving relationships with men. A woman after divorce loses confidence in finding another perfect partner and lives with the fear of being rejected. On the other hand, a mother may experience relief psychologically, especially where she felt that their thoughts and activities were not matching with the spouse. She may be relieved where she thought that they had little in common.

Emotional effect

A mother who has been divorced experiences emotional distress. She feels lonely, unhappy and hurt. Although the mother may initiate the idea of the divorce, she may experience the adverse effects and bear the scars of the terminated relationship. However, a mother may be relieved of the emotional stress, mainly where she felt that the spouse was abusing her.

A mother may have been emotionally abused when the husband tried to control everything in the marriage. The husband may have criticized her for her behaviors, intelligence or the way she looks and presents herself. A divorce may thus relieve the mother, knowing that she is not checked continuously or controlled. The mother may also be relieved after a divorce, mainly where the spouse committed adultery. Divorced mothers may also be disproportionately affected in their emotional well-being by the stressful condition of simultaneous employment and management of childcare duties (Kessler, 2018). The divorce may also relieve the mother of mixed feelings with the husband.

Physical effect

A woman may physically live a healthier life and happier life after a divorce, mainly if she was a victim of domestic violence. A woman who is getting out of physical conflict with her husband tends to have a better physical appearance after the divorce. A mother may divorce to physically protect herself and her children, especially where the husband was addicted to substance use and was likely to be violent.

Child Custody Court Process

Step 1: Preparation and Filing

The first process of child custody involves deciding whether the child will benefit from joint or sole custody. One party views the other as being unfit and incapable of parental responsibility, and therefore prefer sole custody. To start an action in court that addresses custody, one needs to file a complaint in the appropriate probate and family court (Goldenhersh & Sabino, 2018). One, therefore, needs to file a custody petition in the court and pay a filing fee to start the case. One also needs to be aware of where the child resides.

Step 2: Present copies to Defendant

The other parent is served with a copy of the forms by a law enforcement officer or a private process server to which they file a response. The defendant's attorney may also be presented with the papers on behalf of the parent.

Step 3: Court-ordered Parenting Class and Mediation

By law, parents are required to attend a parental educational class before the judge decides on custody. The mediation is to evaluate whether the parents can resolve the issue among themselves and come to a common understanding in matters relating to visitation and custody. Anytime that the parents come to a common ground, the judge may sign the negotiation and finally issue the custody orders. The custom mediation tends to create excess psychological satisfaction compared to litigation (Emery & Wyer, 1987). However, the court may waive mediation if the parties present that they have been in violence with each other.

Step 4: Hearing

An unsuccessful mediation will lead to the parents appearing before the judge in a court. The parents here are free to present their opinions, evidence, witnesses' testimonies, and any other relevant documents. The judge upon listening and reviewing the facts and evidence presented to them will decide on what type of custody the parents will be entitled to, or if it will result in sole custody, which parent will have the custody. The judge will also mention the type of visitation that the non-custodial will have. The judge can appoint a counsel to represent, and can also order custody evaluation where they believe that a medical practitioner should intervene. Depending on each party's circumstances, the judge may order another hearing.

Step 5: Conferences

The attorneys of the parents are convened to the chambers of the court. They then inform the parents about the plan discussed. The parents are informed again to try and resolve the issue to avoid going into a trial.

Step 6: Trial

Parents end up in trial if they do not have a common understanding with their partners. A judge will issue a ruling based on evidence and witnesses. The signing of the document revealing the decision of the judge will result in the final custody order. However, the court may put other factors into consideration. The court may consider who is the primary caretaker of the child, or use the best interests of the child.

Step 7: Final Orders

The final custody order is signed in this stage and reveals the legal terms that the parents are bound to follow. It presents a form of a parenting plan. A parent who disputes against the decision of the court may appeal to a higher court but to which they begin the process again. As the children grow older, the parents may petition to the court to modify the terms of the existing plan to suit the lifestyle changes. A parent can keep notes of the violations that the other partner is committing. They can then report severe breaches to the relevant authorities. A parent who is also dissatisfied with the decision of the court can file a motion to change the court order.


Emery, R. E., & Wyer, M. M. (1987). Child Custody Mediation and Litigation: An Experimental Evaluation of The Experience of Parents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55(2), 179. Retrieved from

Goldenhersh, S & Sabino, J. (2018). Child Custody. Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, Cambridge. Retrieved from

Jurma, A. M. (2015). Impact of Divorce and Mother's Psychological Well-Being on Children's Emotional, Behavioral, and Social Competences. (48), 69-82. Retrieved from

Kessler, D (2015). The Consequences of Divorce for Mothers and Fathers: Unequal but Converging? Retrieved from

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