Those who are opposed to divorce will often say that parents are better off staying together for their children. The reason they often give for this perspective is that they think it helps the children’s development and emotional state to have two parents who are married and live with them in the same house. There are even couples who will stay married, unhappily, just so that they can get divorced after their kids move out.
These parents are trying to do the right thing and they are thinking about their children’s best interests, but is this the right tactic to take?
It depends on the living situation and the level of conflict
What’s really important is how the couple’s relationship impacts the children through the conflict and stress that it can create. This can make for a negative living situation. If there is a lot of conflict in the home, it can be worse for a child’s development than if their parents were no longer together.
So parents in low-conflict marriages may opt to stay together longer, but those in high-conflict marriages may actually be having a detrimental impact on their children if they refuse to get divorced. The divorce could actually give the children a better opportunity because they would be raised in relatively low-conflict homes with two co-parents. Remember, you can certainly still parent together, even if you’re not married, and that may make all the difference. Two involved parents are the most important thing for a child.
Those who are going through a divorce with children also need to make sure they understand the legal steps to take and the options they have.