When it comes to unhappy marriages, countless couples have stayed together
“for the sake of the kids” and shortly after their youngest
celebrated their eighteenth birthday and headed off to college, the parents
divorce. While many parents think that this is the right thing to do, the selfless
thing to do, it may not be better for the kids at all.
Let’s face the facts: Not all parents stay married because it’s
in the children’s best interests. Instead, they stay married because
of the following reasons: 1) they can’t imagine not seeing their
kids every day, 2) they don’t want another man or woman to marry
their spouse and raise their kids, 3) they don’t want to pay
child support, 4) they are afraid of their spouse alienating the children from them
when they’re not around. In many cases, parents hold off on the
divorce because of numbers 1 and 4 above.
In reality though, there are many situations where the children would be
better off if their parents decided to go their separate ways instead
of staying together for the sake of the kids. Now we know that a lot of
experts talk about how divorce is bad for children, and how it affects
their grades, their happiness, and their faith in the institution of marriage,
but that doesn’t change the fact that for many children, divorce
is a welcome transition in their lives and it’s actually in their
Divorce is Better for Kids Than a Bad Marriage
The “experts” may be shaking their heads and pointing their
fingers at us, but they must understand that in volatile marriages, divorce
is generally better for kids than a bad marriage, hands down. How do we
know this? Not only are we divorce attorneys who have represented hundreds
of spouses in their divorce proceedings, but we’ve helped parents
create Parenting Plans, and we’ve represented clients as they modified
their child custody orders. We’ve seen firsthand how our clients’
children have handled the divorce before, during and even years after
the proceedings. In effect, we’ve arrived at the conclusion that
a good divorce is far better for children than a bad marriage.
While much of the existing research shows that divorce can definitely impact
children, it fails to take into account how children are affected by living
with parents who are locked in a volatile, tumultuous marriage. It fails
to consider the emotionally damaging effects of living in a home filled
with constant arguing, nonstop resentment, verbal abuse, and sometimes
controlling behaviors and
physical violence. Children should never have to endure verbal or physical abuse
until they are 18.
In the event of a bad marriage that takes an emotional toll on the children,
a divorce frees all parties involved, and provides the following benefits
1. Peace and calm at last. When parents are constantly arguing, it affects the children whether the
parents realize it or not, and NOT in a good way. When volatile couples
divorce, it offers their children peace and calm at last. Instead of coming
home to an upsetting, stress-filled environment, kids can come home to
a quiet, peaceful home where they can do what they do best – be kids.
2. Two happy homes. Instead of living in one miserable home where they have to blast their
music or put on their headphones to drown out their parents’ arguments,
children can live in two happy homes. Their parents’ separate homes
may be smaller than their childhood home, but they’ll be filled
with love, not hate. This is the time when children need a safe and loving
environment more than more square feet and high-end furniture.
3. Mom and Dad are finally happy. It does not do a child any good to see Mom crying on her bed or to see
Dad sleeping on the couch night-after-night or sleeping at a friend’s
house. Children, including teens, are very sensitive to their parents’
emotions and even in the absence of shouting, they can sense when something
is wrong with their parents’ relationship and it hurts them.
When Mom and Dad file for divorce and experience happiness at last, it
makes their kids happy. When parents are happy, they are under less stress
and they parent better. The energy is higher and more positive and it
affects the children’s moods accordingly. Whether parents’
moods are negative or positive, children can tell the difference. There’s
no doubt that your happiness will rub off on your children, which is why
it’s better to be happy rather than chained to a hate-filled marriage.
4. Kids learn about personal happiness. Have you ever looked at a bad marriage and wondered why on Earth the couple
stayed married? People may be thinking the same thing about you. When
you end a bad marriage, you’re teaching your children that happiness
is important and that if something is destructive and unhealthy, it should be ended.
Imagine if you had a daughter who moved in with an abusive man. Wouldn’t
you want her to leave him? Surely, you would not want her to stay and
endure the abuse. When you say “Enough is enough!” in a bad
marriage, you’re modeling healthy behavior for your children, showing
them that it’s wrong to stay in destructive relationships.
Are you contemplating filing for divorce? If so,
contact Claery & Hammond, LLP to schedule a
free consultation with a
Los Angeles divorce lawyer.