This is a question that often arises when couples find themselves in a tumultuous relationship but are unsure about how that is impacting their children. When children are exposed to high levels of conflict and hostility between their parents there is a higher risk that they will be faced with problems later in life. These problems can manifest as:
- Emotional issues
- Behavioral challenges
- Physical health concerns
- Social difficulties
While it’s important to note that exposure to conflict doesn’t guarantee negative outcomes, it does increase the likelihood.
When considering divorce as an alternative, the process chosen can be just as damaging, if not more so, depending on the approach. An adversarial divorce process is stressful and can escalate existing conflict and hostility between parents. Living together during this time due to financial constraints or other reasons can further exacerbate the situation.
There are alternative divorce process methods that can help mitigate the negative impact of divorce on children. Collaborative Divorce and Mediation can significantly reduce conflict. In these cases, divorce professionals work to bring down the emotional temperature, addressing communication issues and ensuring everyone can coexist amicably, whether separated or still residing together. A child specialist may also be involved to provide support and gather insights directly from the children, helping to manage their emotions and needs effectively.
The long-term goal of these non-adversarial approaches is to create a healthier environment for the children as they grow up. By focusing on minimizing conflict and shielding children from the negative aspects of divorce, parents can contribute to their children’s well-being and happiness.
It is crucial to recognize that the way a divorce is handled greatly affects children, regardless of whether the process is characterized as “bad” or “good.” Adults who experienced their parents’ divorce often know the impact it had on them, both positively and negatively. Managing the divorce process with sensitivity and consideration for the children’s needs can make a significant difference in their adjustment to the new family dynamics.
By adopting collaborative methods, managing communication, and involving child specialists, parents can minimize the negative impact of divorce and create a healthier environment for their children’s growth and development. Ultimately, the way parents navigate the process greatly influences the long-term outcomes for their children. Our office is located at 1010 Lake St., #200, Oak Park, IL 60301 and our office phone number is 312-223-1763.