April 25, 2014

When a divorce is in the best interests of the child

Many Michigan couples stay together for the sake of their children. Despite the yelling, fighting and disagreements, they vow to stick it out and wait to divorce until the children move out or are at least in high school. However, studies show that kids are not really better off staying in such a toxic environment and that divorce will not necessarily scar them for life.

Although no loving parent wants to put their child through the trauma of a divorce, it’s often better for parents to split up than remain unhappy in the same household. Although numerous studies claim that children of divorce do worse in various aspects of life than children whose parents are still married, how do those same children fare overall when their parents stay together? Surely, constant fighting and arguing cannot be good for growing children.

Research also shows that early childhood is crucial for children. Even when children are still in their mothers’ wombs, they are learning and developing. They share a connection with their mothers and events that happen during this time can affect future offspring. Even a father’s actions — such as excessive drinking and waiting too long to conceive — can affect children.

So what does this mean? Parents should not feel pressured to delay divorce. In fact, a divorce may be in the best interests of the child. As long as parents focus on the children and understand the effect of the emotional tie between parent and child, children do have a shot at growing up happy and healthy despite — or maybe because of — divorce.

Source: The Atlantic Cities, “Recognizing When Kids Benefit From Their Parents’ Divorce” Dalton Conley, Apr. 16, 2014