We’ve all heard it before, maybe you’ve heard it from your spouse or partner, or mother or mother-in-law, you have children now, you must stay together for the children.  But do you? Is staying together for the sake of your children really the best policy?  There are a few things to consider if you are asking yourself this question.  Are you questioning your relationship? Why specifically, and what are the reasons?  Is your spouse a good parent to your children?  What will co-parenting with your ex look like? These questions can be partially answered with a free consultation, something divorce lawyers offer to people.

Considering Divorce? Why?

When people contemplating divorce and if they should stay together for the children, there are many questions to explore. Start first with why are you considering divorce?  Is there verbal abuse?  Is your spouse hurting you or your children?  If so, it was time for you to leave yesterday. Anybody that tells you to stay together for the children when physical abuse is taking place needs to be ignored.

Maybe you or your children are experiencing a different kind of abuse.  Emotional abuse is not widely discussed in divorce proceedings since it is difficult to prove. There are no visible scars, and the court fight normally turns into a “he said/she said” issue. Emotional and verbal abuse can be just as serious as physical abuse, especially the way it can affect a child all the way into adulthood. 

Emotional abuse will wear you and or your children down and the longer you stay in a situation where you or your children are being abused, the harder it will be to get the courage to leave. In situations of abuse, the option to stay together for the children is almost always a bad idea.  It is in the best interest of you and your children to find an exit plan, speak with an attorney, and find a safe place to live.

Reasons for Divorce with Kids

Some divorce situations are not so black and white, and while the idea that you can stay together for the children might seem to be in your children’s best interest, it might not be in your best interest. Studies show that children thrive in two parent households where both parents are present in their children’s lives. Maybe your spouse is an awesome parent but a terrible spouse. Maybe the spark that was there initially has fizzled out.  And maybe your relationship is lacking trust, or intimacy – pillars that are absolutely necessary for a relationship not to just exist but to thrive.

Ask yourself what has changed in both of your lives. Is it work stresses? Stress from the kids?  Not having your needs met? Have you turned to using alcohol or drugs?  There are countless reasons that your marriage may have become flat. However, when the two of you had children, it no longer became about just the two of you, it became about your family unit.  No one can answer the question for you of what is missing but you. Is it in your best interest to stay together for the children if you are in an unhappy marriage? Maybe, maybe not. It takes two people to work on a marriage, not just one.

Marriage is work.  It isn’t going to be a fairy tale; we were all lied to. You must work on your marriage if you want it to be positive. And should you decide to divorce and not stay together for the children, you will still need to continue to put in the work to ensure that your kids grow up in a positive environment with parents that love them.

Divorce with Children – the Middle Ground

Now, some couples, even after trying to work things out, still find themselves in the murky middle ground. There isn’t abuse, you’ve tried counseling, but it just isn’t working. Your home environment has turned toxic; the two of you can’t be in the same room without one of you exploding.  If this is the situation you find yourself in, you need to ask yourself if this environment is healthy for your kids?  If you are going to stay together for children and your environment is now toxic, it’s probably time to re-evaluate. 

Post-Divorce Life with Kids

Children are sponges and pick up on everything. This is where a divorce lawyer could help.  Your lawyer will break down for you exactly what happens during a divorce and answer questions on what your post-divorce life will look like.  Can you both handle not seeing your kids every day?  Maybe just the thought of actually ending your marriage will be enough to try whatever it takes to make your marriage work. Or maybe you’re ready to move forward.  At the end of the day, divorce (unless there is abuse) should always be a last-ditch effort. Your life and your kids’ lives will be forever changed, for better or for worse. 

Next Steps

The choice to stay together for the children is tough, especially if the marriage has failed after attempts to fix it. Divorce when children are involved is difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you have questions reach out to a divorce attorney Most divorce attorneys, like right here, offer free consultations to help you make the best decision for you and your family. Get started, get educated, and make the right moves to protect your family.

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1 thought on “Stay Together for the Children?”

  1. I don’t know if it’s time to leave or if I should tough it out a little more time. There hasn’t been any abuse in a long time, over 10 years now. Our oldest is 19 and working and has his own place. Our youngest is 17 and is graduating this year. I feel like he’s old enough and can handle this since he’s almost graduated. My husband drinks all the time. a case every other day. Can somemone please call me or give me some advice?

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