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Loving Parents Can Prevent Unnecessary Suffering for Their Children During Divorce

Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton divorce attorneysDivorce can be a painful and difficult process for all involved parties, but children are said to be at an exceptionally high risk of experiencing long-term consequences. Child experts believe their heightened risk of complications could be attributed to the sense of powerlessness that children often feel during the divorce process. 

Children typically have no say over whether their parents’ marriage continues. In fact, most are unaware that a divorce is even happening until the proceedings are well underway. They are also rarely given a say over the decisions that are made during the divorce process, yet many of them affect the child’s day-to-day life. Examples include where the child will live and go to school and the amount of time that they get to spend with each parent once the divorce has been finalized.

Thankfully, it is possible for loving parents to mitigate many of the issues that children may experience during and after the divorce process. The first (and perhaps most important step) is to ensure that you put your child at the center of every decision you make - especially if it will directly affect them in the months and years to come.

The Truth About Divorce’s Effect on Kids

It was long assumed that children were inherently and unavoidably damaged by the divorce process. Most also felt that mothers should have primary custody, as they tend to be more nurturing than fathers. As divorce rates grew and more families separated, science started to come up with other explanations for the potentially negative effects of divorce on children. 

First, scientific research determined that children benefit from both parental relationships, just in very different ways. Mothers can be nurturing, but fathers can be more playful with their kids than moms, which also has some distinct benefits for the child. There is even evidence that suggests some activities, like reading, may carry greater benefit if done by the father. In short, neither relationship is greater than the other. Instead, children benefit greatly from the presence of both parents in their lives. 

Science has also shown that it is often the animosity in a family that causes a negative effect on children, rather than the divorce itself. In fact, children from dysfunctional homes may actually benefit more from a divorce than if their parents stay together - especially if it betters the child’s living situation and the parents are better at communicating as co-parents than husband and wife. 

Protecting Your Child During the Divorce Process

Upon learning that maladjustment in children after a divorce is rarely attributed to the separation itself, parents often begin to examine their own actions and behaviors to determine where they can improve the outcome of their situation. For example, parents who argue a lot about the details of their case may decide to change how they interact, perhaps by changing their communications to text or email only, to decrease the chances of a heated discussion in front of or around the children. 

Alternatively, a parent who had originally planned to fight for sole custody may realize that their child still needs the other parent in their life. As a result, they may decide to opt for a shared parenting plan (even if decision-making power remains mostly with one parent). What these examples have in common is that both parents work harder to put the needs and best interests of their children first while navigating through their divorce. 

Contact Our DuPage County Parenting Plan Lawyers

If you are filing for a divorce, make the decision to put your child’s needs and interests first, right from the very start. Contact our Wheaton parenting plan attorneys for a personalized, no-obligation consultation by calling 630-580-6373 today. As advocates for children, we always pursue the most favorable outcome possible, whatever the situation. 

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/05/us/divorce-parental-responsibilities-tips-lisa-ling-this-is-life/index.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/why-dads-are-better-bedtime-story-readers-185827526.html

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-divorce-bad-for-children/

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