Divorcing with children is hard on both parents and children. That said, couples with irreconcilable differences are usually advised not to stay together just for the sake of the children. Kids are smarter than we think sometimes, and can sense if one or both parents are miserable in a relationship. This situation is not healthy for anyone.
Divorce is not easy on anyone, but extra care should be taken to ensure that children know they are loved by both parents and that they are safe to talk about their feelings about the divorce or about the new living arrangements without any fear of anger from their parents.
Where this often gets complicated is when a child asks questions about why the divorce happened. The best answer to this depends on the child’s age and their level of emotional development; but, no child needs to know the full details of any divorce. Post-divorce, many parents have the urge to try to get information about the ex-spouse from the child. This is extremely inappropriate, except in situations where the child might be at risk for abuse. Parents need to maintain a mature outlook and realize that the child should not ever be prompted to “pick sides”.
An uncontested divorce is undoubtedly the easiest on both children and parents. Uncontested divorce essentially means that both parties are able to reach an agreement regarding division of property and assets, as well as child custody and support. As you can imagine, the less struggle there is over issues pertaining to the children, and the less the children are aware of the strife between the parents, the better off they are.
Some contested divorces even require children to take the stand against one of their parents. Except in the most extreme cases where abuse is suspected, this has a detrimental impact on the child. Animosity between parents is also heightened when the court is involved, which deeply affects children whether they witness it or not.
Another reason an uncontested divorce is better for children is that it is always less expensive. Court fees, lawyer fees, lost time, transportation, babysitting, etc. all add up to a LOT of money. Think of it as an investment in your children’s future by avoiding a contested divorce if at all possible.
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