You will often hear parents who are considering divorce talk about how it is best to stay together for the children. They may even say that they would’ve gotten divorced long ago, but they wanted to put their children first.
It is best for children to have two parents who love them and are involved in their lives. The stability of a marriage can be helpful to kids, who value this stability and who know what to expect. But this certainly does not mean that it is always best for the parents to remain married. In fact, there are some situations in which a divorce may be better for the children’s overall development and growth.
What is the level of conflict?
What experts warn about is children who live in high-conflict homes. If they are constantly exposed to stress, unhappiness and conflict between their parents, it can have a major negative effect. According to one researcher, they would be “no better off, and in fact, may fare worse in some respects” than if their parents had separated.
In a high-conflict marriage, then, it may be better for the children if their parents split up and then worked together as co-parents. Often, this separation can lower the level of conflict. Parents who may not have been able to get along while living together and seeing each other every day may find that they are happier and more content after the divorce. They can focus on putting their children first and working together. They can still be involved in their children’s lives, which is the real key to successful development.
That being said, everyone’s situation is unique. Parents who are considering divorce need to know about all of their parental rights, their options for child custody and what legal steps they should take.