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Are High Conflict Marriages or Amicable Divorces Better for Kids?

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One of the worst aspects for children of a bad marriage is the way their parents treat each other. While together, the parents fight constantly, and while apart, they still fight constantly, using their children to vent their frustrations.

It's not uncommon for children in high-conflict marriages to be subjected to lengthy rants about their parents' opinions of each other's respective faults – from their wasteful spending, to their bad housekeeping, to their weight.

Perhaps the only reason why they are still married is the kids, but all they accomplished is an atmosphere built on distrust and conflict. Sometimes, they are like children throwing a tantrum, not the stable parents the children need.

'Divorce Selfies' are Encouraging

High-conflict marriages are what make the "divorce selfie" trend so encouraging. In recent months, divorcing couples have been posting pictures of themselves smiling as they pose outside of the local courthouse, happily announcing their split.

Instead of being on the offense, they are celebrating their children and their commitment to co-parenting them without conflict, and with admiration for each other.

We're not saying divorce is easy, but the "good divorce" trend is gaining traction and it puts a positive spin on what can be an ugly process.

Divorce can be a traumatic experience for children, but according to the American Psychological Association, the negative effects on a child's psyche can be limited if the parents can limit the conflict involved.

In a paper published in The Journal of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers by researcher, Joan B. Kelly, the core risk factors in a divorce, include:

  • Continuing high levels of conflict between parents
  • Diminished parenting after the divorce
  • Loss of important relationships after the divorce

When children experience this trauma, it can lead to long-term psychological issues. But there is a better way. Healthy co-parenting during and after divorce can help avoid these ramifications and normalize the process.

Staying in an unhappy marriage can be just as bad if not worse for the kids, and while divorce may seem traumatic, if the parents manage to be amicable for the "sake of the kids," it can be better than a high-conflict marriage.

Contact us for a free consultation with a Los Angeles divorce attorney!


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