As a parent, you always want what’s best for your children. That’s true whether yours is the happiest of marriages, is a marriage that is faltering or a marriage that has already broken down and ended. Parents in that middle group often find themselves struggling with a most profound conflict: do we get divorced now or do we stay together for the sake of the kids? While many parents may feel an impulse that staying together is best for the kids, there is some evidence to suggest that, in many circumstances, the opposite can be true. If you are a parent and you think that your marriage may headed for divorce, it is worth your while to at least consult with an experienced Hoboken divorce attorney.
In an early February installment of fatherly.com’s advice column, “Ask the Good Father,” a writer stated that he and his wife were in that position. Both spouses wanted a divorce. “We’re going to get a divorce. It’s been a long time coming and we are both okay with it,” the father wrote. Despite these facts, the couple planned to remain married for another half-decade or so. Why? They shared a four-year-old son. Remaining an “intact” family until the boy reached the age of “9 or so” was what both parents believed was best for the child, and so they indefinitely postponed going their separate ways.
While that impulse is quite understandable, some research suggests that this couple’s plan of staying together for another 5 years may hurt, not help, the child. Back in early 2019, The Guardian published the results of a research study that looked at 6,245 children in the United Kingdom. That British study indicated that parental breakups were the hardest on children ages 7 to 14. The children in that age group were the most likely to suffer mental health harm, including anxiety and depression. So, if this father’s son had the same mental makeup as those children studied in the UK, then the parents’ delaying their divorce until the boy was around 9 or so would actually do more harm, not less, to the child’s overall well-being.