Amid last week’s coverage of all of the details regarding the Boston Marathon bombing, details emerged about all aspects of the bombing suspects’ lives. From their nationality to the scholarships they received, the media unearthed seemingly endless details about the two brothers in an effort to find clues as to the motivation for the bombings. One interesting factoid our Washington County Divorce Attorneys found particularly interesting was reported by Politico today. The news source chimed in this morning to break the news that bombers’ parents, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, were divorced in September 2011. Since roughly 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce today, one struggles to find the potential relevance of this information as to the bombers’ motivation.
The news outlet reported that the bombers’ parents cited “irretrievable breakdown” of their marriage in the court documents and indicated that they’d been separated since February 2011. The couple had been married on October 20, 1986 in a city hall ceremony in Russia and elected not to retain attorneys to represent them in their divorce. All in all, the couple’s divorce seems pretty “run of the mill” with nothing on the record to indicate protracted litigation or a heated legal battle. Nevertheless, it is clear that divorce can affect a child’s well-being at any age.
According to Joanne Pedro-Carroll, PhD, founder of Children of Divorce Intervention Program USA, there are three main factors that impact children’s well-being during and after their parents’ divorce: (1) hostile conflict; (2) the quality of parenting over time; and (3) the parent-child relationship. Experts report that all three of these factors can have a major impact on how a child copes with his or her parents’ divorce.
Notwithstanding the tangible effects a high-conflict divorce can have on a child, one can only wonder whether news outlets like Politico are grasping at straws in an effort to make a connection of any kind to explain the bombers’ sinister motives. Long-term studies show that children from a divorced family transition to adulthood with few major issues. Experts report that overall, simply experiencing divorce does not automatically mean a child will develop significant lifelong problems.