We have learned that when children of divorce reach adulthood, compared to those who grew up in intact families they feel less religious on the whole and are less likely to be involved in the regular practice of a faith. In one national study, two-thirds of people from married parent families, compared to just over half of children of divorce, say they are very or fairly religious, and more than a third of people from married parent families currently attend religious services almost every week compared to just a quarter of people from divorced families.
The research doesn't suggest that divorce causes children to lose their faith in a bout of bitterness over having two Christmases. The researchers say that the "greatest predictor of the religious lives of youth remains the religious lives of their parents," suggesting that the drop-off in faith has more to do with divorced parents being less likely to take their kids to church every week. As Amy Ziettlow goes on to explain at Family Scholars:
In my observation, many divorcing parents who are emotionally absent, in shock, or spend hours working to support their family, may not have the physical energy to take their children to church. If they take them to church they may not have the spiritual stamina to disciple their children in the home.
I find it simultaneously amusing and disturbing how assured the researchers are that people like myself—I'm both a "child of divorce" and an outright atheist—are a problem to be fixed. To read this paper, you'd think non-believing children of divorce are the walking wounded, barely able to make it through the day. Words like "schism," "rupture," and "alienated" abound, and the study's authors warn that even having an amicable divorce leaves your child in danger of blowing off church, which we are meant to believe is a very dire fate indeed.