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Kentucky couples who are dealing with divorce face a unique complication when you add children to the equation. Divorce can be particularly hard on teenagers and handling it correctly can make a huge difference for your kids. According to verywellfamily, anywhere from 20 to 25% of teenagers who go through a divorce have problems that stem from changes made in the family. 

Divorces affects teenagers in a variety of ways. Some examples are poor academic performance, increased stress, trouble sleeping, substance abuse, depression, anger or sadness at parents, behavioral problems at school and difficulty when forming relationships. Getting along with your ex is one of the most important keys to helping your teenagers move through a divorce in a healthy way. 

Parents should develop a strong co-parenting strategy so that life remains as consistent as possible. Both parents should talk to the teenage and provide them with a space to share frustrations, fears and worries. Acknowledge their stressors such as moving, starting a new school or not seeing one parent every day. Let them know that you are aware how hard it is and validate their feelings. 

Divorce is tough for everyone, and spouses have a tendency at times to disappear emotionally to deal with their own problems, but your teenager needs you to be as present as possible during the divorce. Even in an amicable divorce, the teenager faces huge life changes that can affect their emotions. Allow them to express those feelings without restraint and let them know that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to handle their emotions. 

If your teen seems to have serious behavioral problems or serious swings in mood, it may also be time to seek professional help. Many teens benefit from speaking to a licensed therapist as they deal with the changes in their lives. 

This is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.