It is common for parents to consider staying together on account of their children. They want to get divorced. They may not even think of themselves as much of a couple anymore, despite technically being married.
However, they have heard repeatedly that divorce is bad for the children and they need to stay together, even if it’s not what they want. This myth is repeated so often that many people inherently believe it — but it’s not always true. There is actually research showing that divorce may often be better for the kids than if their parents stay together.
The issue lies with chronic conflict
The big question to ask is just what the children’s home life is like right now. If you and your spouse get along and provide them with a stable, happy home — despite your own desires to move on from the marriage — then that home can be good for them. Stability and comfort are very important for kids.
If, however, your desire to divorce has led to chronic conflict, you have to realize that that conflict is producing stress. The children are feeling that stress, and it’s affecting them in ways they do not even understand.
Given that type of home life, the children are typically better off if the parents file for divorce. When the parents move out on their own, it can reduce the conflict and stress the children see. The parents may genuinely be happier, which makes them better parents for their kids. Things do get complicated with two homes and everything else, but that doesn’t automatically mean that things are worse for the children.
In short, a conflict-filled home life with two parents in the house is worse for the children than a conflict-free life where they have to divide their time and live with only one parent at a time.
What do you need to do next?
If you have decided that it’s time to file for divorce, your kids likely come first. Make sure you know exactly what steps you can take to preserve your time with them.