Divorce can be a tough conversation to have with your children. We talked to two adults who were open about their childhood and what it looked like going between their birth parents. These are their stories about child custody and what they had to say about it. Their names have been altered, but their story has not. Through their accounts on various ages, we were able to see first hand accounts on what it is like for children, and advice to those who are going through the same process.
Emily is a current graduate student here in Arkansas. She was very young when her parents divorced, and didn’t know what was going on at the time. Emily said, “It was weird because I had vague memories about it growing up, but it was just normal to me that I had my mom’s house and my dad’s house. I didn’t see it as child custody. I just thought it was time to go see mom, and then time to go see dad. I did feel more loved whenever I saw my dad on the weekend, but I think that was because he didn’t see me for so long. I also remember being excited for having two Christmases.” Emily did say that at times she was the messenger between her parents, which affected her teenage years. It brought a feeling of having to take a side, which she said was the worst part about going through child custody. This was predominant when one parent complained about the other. Being stuck in the middle was a hard part. When asked about advice to give to children experiencing a divorce, she said “It gets better. You might not understand it now, but it is better off in the long run.”
Logan was an older teenager when his parents had a divorce. He comes from a military background and an immigrant family. When asked about his experiences he stated,“Honestly I was happy when it happened. I remember that they were fighting constantly and how unhappy they were. When they divorced, my parents lived only a few minutes away so moving in between child custody wasn’t hard. I did have some resentment towards my dad for leaving my mom, because she is an immigrant. I remember feeling like he abandoned her.” Surprisingly he smiled after the end of this statement, and talked about how close he was able to get with his brother. “Me and my little brother got closer, because we were all we had during this time,” Logan said. Years later his father was able to develop a relationship with Logan, because he was able to focus more on their relationship instead of fighting with his mother. On his advice to those who deal with child custody, he said “Your parent’s problems do not define your life. Learn from it, and take your own direction.”