Facing Divorce and the Death of a Child

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Mar 09, 2014 | 0 Comments

Throughout the duration of any marriage, couples will face significant setbacks and challenges, ups and downs, pains and regrets. While many of these life struggles are surmountable, there are other issues that can lead couples down a path towards divorce. Infidelities, financial struggle, addiction and breach of trust are common reasons for divorce. Another issue that is more painful for any couple to discuss, is the death of a child. A couple, may begin to grow apart, suffer grief differently, or no longer be able to understand what the relationship once was without the presence of their child.


The death of a child is the worst nightmare for any couple, especially when the child passes at a young age. It is not uncommon for the death of a child to place significant pressure and stress on a marriage, especially when parents are managing their own difficulties and grief. Our Birmingham divorce lawyersunderstand the very difficult circumstances faced by our clients. We will take the time to discuss your individual concerns, help weigh your options, and protect your rights in the event that divorce is the right decision for you and your spouse.

In some cases, one parent may blame the other for the child's death. This could be simply an attempt to make sense of an accident or unexpected illness. One parent may look to their spouse with contempt if it is believed that the death was at all preventable—whether caused by illness, disease, a car collision, or other accident. In these cases, even if a couple has another child after divorce, the resentments can continue to surface for years, even decades after a child's death. Many of these cases will involve distrust or an inability to forgive a spouse.

In these cases, couples may seek grief counseling. While this can be helpful to one parent, it may also not be the right solution for another. An attempt to move forward could cause a greater divide between a couple if there is not a mutual understanding or respect for independent grieving. Any tragedy will put significant strain on a marriage and though professional counseling is one option, it is not always the solution.

Couples who do want to stay together after the death of a child must not blame the other for the death and must be willing to work through the stages of grief together. For many of these couples, time does not heal the wounds and the marriage may continue to suffer for months or years after the accident. If one spouse or another finds that the death has done irreparable damage to the marriage, divorce may be the best option. Healing may take time, but a marriage may never be the same after the devastating tragedy of a lost child. Both parents may find it easier to move forward in a new life. No couple wants to face the breakdown of their marriage in addition to the loss of a child, but in these cases, dissolving the marriage may benefit grieving parents who have not resolved their differences.

Contact Birmingham divorce and family law attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama


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