Reaching the point of contemplating divorce in a marriage is never an easy realization, especially if you have children. But deciding to stay in an unhappy marriage or leave is one of the hardest decisions a parent can make. While there is no clear or easy answer we can give you, it’s up to you to figure out what’s in the best interest of your children. Use this guide to help you with your decision.
Conflict Does More Harm Than Divorce
Research has shown that children are happier when they live in a home with two loving parents.
This is why Colorado family courts prefer custody arrangements where both parents are actively involved in the child’s life and upbringing. Judges understand how essential it is to the child’s wellbeing to be able to have a healthy relationship with both parents.
While this sentiment rings true, it does not necessarily mean that staying together even when you want a divorce is going to benefit your children. Despite being young and naive, kids can easily sense when something isn’t right. More likely than not, they will pick up on the tension between you and your spouse, especially if you are unable to work together as co-parents effectively.
Although there are a number of studies pointing to the negative impact of divorce on children, there is compelling research to support that the root of these problems is actually the parental conflict in the household, regardless of whether they are married or divorced. Kids who experience high conflict are subject to negative side effects, including anxiety, depression, and other short- and long-term behavioral and mental health issues.
Many parenting experts agree that a major risk to children of staying in a family filled with anger, frustration, and tension is that they learn bad parenting skills that could carry on to the next generation. We are not saying that all marital conflict is unhealthy. It’s normal for disputes to arise, and it’s important for children to learn how to manage conflict. When it is resolved respectfully, it can even positively impact kids and equip them with valuable skills.
With this information in mind, co-parenting might be better achieved living in different homes, in which case a divorce would be the better option. If you choose to stay together, it’s critical to minimize conflict, whenever possible, in front of the kids.
Helping Your Children Cope With Divorce
If divorce becomes inevitable, understand that the transition will be difficult to comprehend for your young ones. As you go through this journey, both parents need to remember what is in the children’s best interest and continually move toward that goal. For some families, this may look like agreeing to mediation or a collaborative approach and avoiding the painful litigation process.
At the Law Office of Alexandra White, PC, we know that our client’s top priority when going through a divorce is their children. In these challenging moments, we believe that compassionate, trusted legal guidance is necessary. We will advocate on behalf of you and your children to find a resolution that is in the best interests of your child. Although your kids may not understand that divorce is the best choice for the family unit, it can lead to a happier outcome in the long term.
To talk to an experienced Colorado divorce and child custody lawyer, contact Law Office of Alexandra White, PC at (303) 647-4245 and schedule your consultation.