If spouses realize they are unhappy in their marriage, it is a common next step to consider getting a divorce.
However, this prospect can become complex for parents with kids. It leads many people to wonder if they should put off a divorce and stay together for the benefit of their children. After all, then they could protect their children from the negative effects that many studies and sources say a parents’ divorce can cause.
Everyone’s relationships and families are different. There is no way to say whether or not this option will work, but it is critical to note some of the common issues that can arise from this situation.
Three factors to consider
Staying together solely for the children might be seen as a strategy to help protect children’s best interests. However, it can have some unforeseen implications that parents must be aware of and evaluate as they make a decision for their future.
For example, Kentucky parents should consider:
- Their child’s awareness: According to a 2019 study, children often notice more details than adults in several kinds of situations. In turn, they often can sense underlying tension at home if unhappy parents decide to stay together. This could make children feel more anxiety in the home instead of the comfort and security parents wish to achieve by staying together.
- The effects of conflict in the home: Another recent study found that it is not necessarily a divorce itself that can have long-term effects on children. While a divorce may come as a shock, it is often the conflict between parents that can impact children the most. If parents do stay together but face consistent challenges with disputes, it could place prolonged stress on the entire family.
- The impact of divorce as adults: This strategy often means parents will stay together while their children are young, and potentially seek a divorce once the children are older. However, waiting to separate until children are adults can still impact children, as we have discussed in a previous blog post. Adult children might question their childhood and face emotional challenges tied to their parents’ divorce.
In some cases, staying together and putting the children first can work for families, especially if parents take time to manage conflict and collaborate in their co-parenting efforts. However, if parents weigh divorce or think about staying together for their kids, they must carefully assess their situation and strategies to protect their family, regardless of how they move forward.