The amount of research on how divorce affects children can be a bit overwhelming, leaving parents a bit confused as to what is best for the child. The most important thing to remember, however, is that each family dynamic is different. What may be beneficial for one family may be quite detrimental for another. For some families, a divorce may cause more problems than it fixes, adding to the already present tension within a family. For other families, avoiding a divorce may be cancerous in terms of the well-being of a child. While divorce is not for everyone, especially when a marriage can be salvaged through means of counseling, parents are encouraged to consider the costs and benefits of staying together. The following research provides just a few reasons why avoiding divorce may not be in the best interest of the child.
Domestic violence can result in DCFS taking your child. For some families, the tension between husband and wife is limited to arguing and yelling. For others, the tension can escalate to the point of physical violence between parents. While parents may believe the issue of domestic violence can be contained, it does indeed affect the children. Households in which domestic violence is present should be aware of the laws surrounding child custody and DCFS. According to the law, subjecting children to an environment of domestic abuse is legally defined as “neglect,” and will result in DCFS taking children into protective custody. For more information on how domestic violence affects your custodial rights, see the blog entitled “Domestic Violence and DCFS.”
Children are psychologically affected…even in their sleep. From a psychological standpoint, divorce may be better for children than subjecting them to high levels of conflict. Research suggests that simply the elevated volume and tension between parents can affect brain activity in infants in such a way that shapes how they respond to conflict later in life. Even further, the research indicates that the children need not be awake to experience the negative effects of such conflict. Simply hearing loud levels of arguing during sleep is enough to be psychologically damaging.
Consider the model you are displaying. As a loving parent, you and your spouse most likely have a desire to see your child grow up and find a supportive spouse to share their life with. The best way for a parent to express this sentiment is through leading by example. The relationship between a child’s parents is often the first marriage a child witnesses up close and personal. Because of this, a child will shape his or her perspective of how a healthy and stable relationship should be. As a parent, consider the message you are sending your child by remaining married to your spouse whom you have consistent conflict with. In other words, although salvaging your marriage may seem like the best way to save your family, opting for divorce may in fact be in your family’s best interest.
If you are considering divorce, please feel free to contact the Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.