Any couple going through a divorce is faced with making some very difficult decisions. Couples with children face even more difficult and often emotionally-charged decisions as they must deal with child custody, visitation and support matters. What's more, parents often feel a tremendous amount of guilt related to what affect their divorce will have on their children.
While research does point to an increase in behavioral problems in about 20 percent of children with divorced parents, few would argue that in many instances divorce is the best possible solution to an overall unhealthy situation. Obviously, children of parents who are involved in marriages that are physically or emotionally abusive are not going to benefit from their parents staying together. Likewise, when parents are unhappy and not able to effectively communicate in a productive and respectful way, their children suffer. In these instances, divorce is often the best option for everyone involved including the children.
Parents, who have made the decision to end their marriage, should do so in a mature manner. Divorces that are full of drama and conflict do more to harm a child's psyche than a divorce that is fairly amicable. While this advice isn't always easy to follow, parents should sensor themselves when discussing negative aspects related to the divorce and their former spouse around the children.
Parents facing divorce should take heart that while difficult on all involved, divorce does not need to be a traumatic and scarring event for children. In fact, it's more likely that staying in an unhappy and dysfunctional marriage for the sake of the children will cause more harm in the long run.
Source: Psychology Today, "Is Divorce Immature and Selfish?," Christine L. Carter, Mar. 10, 2012