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Deciding to divorce is never easy. You have to worry about how you’re going to pay all the bills, where you’ll live, and how to separate lives that were once so intertwined.
If you and your spouse have children together, though, the worries about divorcing can be magnified.
Should we stay together for the sake of the kids? What happens if they have to switch schools? Won’t it be difficult for them to live in separate houses?
All of your fears are completely valid and show that you’re concerned about how your children will react to this major life change. However, many experts believe that divorce is actually much better for children than remaining as one big, unhappy family.
Here are 4 ways that getting divorced can actually benefit your children:
They’re Not Exposed to As Much Fighting
No matter what lead up to your divorce, it’s likely you and your spouse lived with enough tension in the house to cut with a knife.
Even young children can pick up on tension and conflict between their parents, and this is even more true if they’ve ever heard you arguing. Studies have shown that children who come from high-conflict households have higher levels of stress, more behavioral difficulties, depression, and decreased academic performance, among other things.
By getting divorced, your children’s exposure to your marital conflict and fighting will be decreased exponentially. This reduces their stress and improves their emotional outcomes.
While living in two households is never perfect, it’s preferable to live separately than together under frequent fighting.
They’re Given More Calm Home Bases
Sure, divorce is stressful and it can even leave a lot of things up in the air in the early months.
But if you are calmer and more emotionally stable when you’re at home with your children than you were when your spouse was around, it only benefits your children.
Children who come from high-conflict situations may feel, especially if they’re older, that they shouldn’t contribute to the tension by bringing up their own feelings and problems. This leads to them dealing with their difficulties on their own, which can cause them to develop unhealthy coping skills.
If you can provide a more emotionally stable home for your children in a divorce, they likely will feel more ready and open to discuss their problems, allowing you to provide guidance through tough situations.
They’ll Learn to Speak up for Their Needs
Maybe during your marriage you were the person who swallowed their feelings for fear of rocking the boat. And this left you miserable.
Choosing to divorce and get yourself – and your children – into a better situation sets everyone up for increased happiness and success. While you may feel selfish for splitting up the family or causing your children to move into a different home, you’re actually teaching them that a little selfishness is a good thing in the long run.
Becoming a martyr for the sake of your family does nothing but show your kids that they can’t have it all. They either have to choose family or happiness, and that can lead to them entering dysfunctional relationships as adults.
On the other hand, swallowing your pride and speaking up for what you need teaches your children that they should always ask for and require what they need, and they shouldn’t settle for anything less.
They’ll Develop Better Skills
Living in two homes requires a lot of coordination, especially as kids get older.
If one child has basketball practice and another has dance, but they’re both with the other parent on that night, they have to become responsible for letting that parent know where they need to be and when, as well as making sure they have the appropriate gear. The same goes for homework, which can easily get left at one parent’s house.
Once your children get used to moving between homes and their new schedules, they’ll be able to more effectively manage their time and their belongings so they ensure they’ve always got what they need.
Experienced Child Custody Representation in DC
At Lopez Law Firm, we work hard to help you get what you deserve in your divorce. While we always advocate cooperation and compromise between parties, when that isn’t an option we advocate tirelessly for your rights during the litigation process. Schedule your consultation today!