Skip to Content

How Divorce Impacts a Child's Education

Join the Owenby Law Team
mother and daughter outside school

A child’s education is arguably one of the most important aspects of their young lives. The schoolyard is where they make lifelong friends, develop social behaviors, and blossom into the young men and women of the next generation. When you realize just how important a child’s education is, it makes you wonder how divorce can impact their educational process. At Owenby Law, we are in the business of helping families through a divorce while minimizing the impact it can have on your children, so we hope this blog is insightful for you and your family.

Overall Performance

Unfortunately, research proves that divorce can and will impact a child’s education. Studies show that divorces have a causal relationship to a child’s grades worsening over time, and that children who have a single parent, one biological parent and one stepparent, or some other family configuration are three times more likely to repeat a grade than a child with two biological (or adoptive) parents.

What you can do:

  • A statistic does not have to be your child’s life; if you and your ex-are both invested in your child’s education, their performance might still suffer, but not to the same extent.
  • Encourage a stepparent to aid your child with their homework.
  • Do not be disappointed if/when your child’s grades decrease after a divorce. Encourage them despite the change!

Moving & Performance

One study found that residential mobility (moving) accounted for a 29% gap in the academic performance of children living in stepfamilies when compared to children living with both biological parents. Moving (especially on top of a separation) increases behavioral, emotional, and academic problems for adolescents. Therefore, moving during or after a divorce can impact a child’s ability to socialize with classmates and negatively impact their GPA.

What you can do:

  • If possible, allow the child to stay in the same home regardless of the outcome of the divorce.
  • The parent without custody (or who has joint custody) should stay close to the family.
  • If in a joint custody scenario, parental agreement on housing situations can lead to better child educational outcomes.

Divorce & College

In intact biological families over 57% of children enter college, for children in single-parent families, this decreases to 47.5%, for children in stepfamilies, this drops to 32.5%. Additionally, studies show that 77% of college attendees from divorced families will not graduate, while 60% of college attendees from intact families will not graduate.

What you can do:

  • Stay positive about college regardless of the circumstances if you want your child to go to college.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to attend trade school (which can be more cost effective and lead to a better financial situation for your child in the short-term)
  • Listen to your child’s want and needs when it comes to the college experience.

We hope this blog helps you think through the challenges your children will face in regards to their education. Remember, statistics are only that, and every child will respond to divorce in their own way.

If you or a loved one is looking for an experienced divorce team that understands the depths of how divorce can impact your child’s life, call 904-530-3238 now for a free initial consultation.