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Divorce and school performance

Despite the irreconcilable differences that may lead Florida couples down the path of divorce, nearly all parties will usually agree they want the best for their kids. When considering the best interests of children, it is crucial to understand the significant impact a divorce could have on their academic engagement, achievement and future prospects.

ABC News points to a study published in the American Sociological Review that found evidence of diminished math performance in first through third-grade kids who had experienced a divorce. Reading and other skills did not appear to be affected. This may be due to the increased complexity of solving mathematical problems, which could prove difficult for children dealing with heightened anxiety.

Anxiety could harm a child's ability to focus on learning. Symptoms of anxiety include changes in appetite, sleep problems and sudden bouts of crying. Children of divorced parents were noted as being sadder and having worse social skills than those who came from intact homes

The Huffington Post recommends taking time to make plans to help keep the impact on school life to a minimum for kids, including the following resolutions:

  • Stay engaged with homework and other school assignments, regardless of who has primary custody.
  • Avoid making the child's school a custody trade-off spot.
  • Work together to incorporate the school's schedule into custody arrangements.
  • Communicate directly, so that kids do not have to bear the stress of ferrying messages back and forth.

It is also important to ensure the school has information for both parents. The primary emergency contact should be established. The school should also be told which parent has the right to pick the child up, if necessary.

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