If you’re like many couples, you’ve been staying together for the kids—but is that the right thing to do? Should you split despite what you’ve heard about staying together for your children?
Is Divorce Ever a Good Choice?
In some cases, divorce is a good choice. Many psychologists say that kids whose parents fight continually are learning the wrong things about relationships and the way they’re supposed to work—and in cases such as those, divorce may be your best option.
In other cases, such as when one or both parents are so unhappy that it interferes with their ability to parent, divorce can also be the right choice.
Should You Stay Together for the Kids?
Whether you should stay together for your children is a largely personal choice. If you’re considering it, ask yourself:
- Is the way you feel about your spouse likely to change?
- Are you willing to put your happiness on hold if it doesn’t change?
- How much work are you willing to put into staying together for your kids’ benefit?
Can Divorce Positively Affect Kids?
According to Ruth Peters, Ph.D., it can.
“If the marriage is tumultuous, divorce can be a relief to the kids. If a parent is abusive (physically and/or emotionally), has a substance abuse problem or causes constant chaos within the home environment, children often benefit from the separation. Many children are embarrassed to bring friends into their distressed environment and begin to stay longer at others’ homes in order to avoid the turmoil,” says Peters.
Some parents even choose to stay in an unhappy marriage because despite saying it’s for the kids, it’s simply easier to shrug off responsibility.
“This is a grown up decision, and parents need to take responsibility for their own choices. You need to own your decision to stay together (or not). You can stay together, because you decided to put your children’s needs ahead of your own (or for 100 other good reasons). But any such a decision should be about your values not ‘for the children’s sake,’” according to Robert E. Emery, Ph. D.
Ultimately, it’s a personal decision—and you may want to talk to a Wisconsin divorce lawyer to talk about your options. Remember, talking to an attorney doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a divorce; it just means that you want to be prepared for what may happen next.
Do You Need to Talk to a Wisconsin Divorce Lawyer?
If you’re thinking about divorce, it’s a good idea to talk to a Wisconsin divorce attorney who can help you understand the process and discuss the possible outcomes you’re facing.
Call us at 414-383-6700. If it’s easier, you can also contact us online for your divorce consultation. We’re here to help.