Staying Together for the Children May Do More Harm Than Good

Conventional wisdom promotes parents staying in an unhappy marriage "for the sake of the children." Many believe that children are better off with both parents in the home, even if the parents' marriage has failed. However, some experts suggest divorce may be more beneficial for children than having parents who are together and unhappily married.

Happy Parents Are Good Role Models

Parents who are happy generally raise children who are happy. The parenting skills of those who are trapped in failed marriages tend to suffer, as people who are unhappy lack the emotional energy to fully be present and supportive for their children. Parents who are happy usually create better parent-child relationships.

Parents who recognize that their needs are not being met in a failed marriage and take steps to effect positive change in their lives are also being good role models for their children. They are showing the children that they should value themselves enough to leave a situation that is not working for them and seek fulfilling relationships.

Less Fighting

If parents fight all the time, there is tension in the household - even when parents make an effort not to argue in front of children. Children are remarkably sensitive and can pick up on underlying emotions that parents try to hide. Research suggests that children exposed to conflict over a long period of time suffer negative effects.

If parents argue frequently, divorce can reduce the stress in the household and children may benefit from living in a more peaceful environment.

Children Gain Life Skills

Some experts have asserted that children with divorced parents end up developing life skills as a result of the day-to-day tasks that come with dividing their time between two households. Children hone their communication, organization and time management skills by doing such things as keeping both parents informed of school and extracurricular activities, remembering to bring necessary school books and supplies to each parent's house and keeping track of which school bus to take home on which afternoon.

Speak With a Lawyer

Deciding to divorce is rarely easy. Many hesitate because they are unsure how their children will react and wonder whether it really is the best thing for their families. If you are considering divorce, talk to an experienced family law attorney who can advise you of your options.