It is no secret that divorce can take an emotional toll on children, and well-meaning but unhappily married parents often repeat the refrain that they are “staying together for the kids.” However, remaining in a dysfunctional marriage – even for the right reasons – can also be harmful for kids. When the alternative is a home environment filled with frequent conflict and tension, divorce may be the lesser of two evils and can benefit children in the long run.
Children tend to be highly sensitive to their parents’ emotions, and they are likely to pick up any undercurrents of resentment, hostility and sadness even when parents do their best to shield their kids from the marital problems they are grappling with. The potential for lasting emotional harm is even higher when parents openly argue or fight in front of their kids. Thus, for parents are truly unhappy in their marriages and unable to work things out, staying together for the kids can mean exposing them to a harmful and unending cycle of conflict and negativity.
Happier Parents, Happier Kids
On the other hand, a well-executed divorce can offer many benefits when it is done with the children’s best interests in mind. One of the greatest benefits that divorce can offer to kids is the potential for happier parents and a more peaceful, stable home environment – often not just at one home, but two. Although the transition can be difficult for everyone, especially at first, children are typically better off in the long run having parents who live separately and happily than if they live together in a home where arguing and marital tension are the norm.
When all is said and done, ending an unhappy marriage gives children the benefit of parents who are happier are better able to focus their emotional energies on their children instead of on the difficulties of a failing marriage. Furthermore, though it is certainly not guaranteed, many parents find that they are able to work together more effectively as co-parents once they no longer have to deal with the stressors of being stuck in a marriage that is just not working out.
Reframing divorce as being the best choice for the children can help motivate some parents to pursue a simple, low-conflict divorce in order to minimize the negative impact on their kids. If you would like to know more about your options for divorce and related legal issues in Pennsylvania, contact Davis Divorce Law to discuss your situation.