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Divorce can be good for the kids

Most divorcing parents experience some level of guilt and worry over the impact of their decision to split up on their children. While divorce is difficult for children, so is having parents who stay together in a marriage where there is arguing, silence, volatility or maybe even violence. Watching one or both parents who are unhappy, angry or bitter can be emotionally damaging to kids.

Ending an unhappy marriage can not only prevent that emotional damage, but actually benefit a couple's children. Their home and lives become calmer. Getting used to the new normal and going back and forth between two homes takes some adjustment. However, if both of those homes feel more emotionally stable, the children are nearly always better off.

Of course, this requires the ex-spouses to be able to co-parent without conflict, at least in front of the kids. Seeing their parents move through the compromises required in any divorce and still be able to get along and effectively parent can be a valuable learning experience. In fact, some people become better parents after a divorce because they develop their own parenting styles and forge new relationships with their children. They're also generally happier.

That brings up the final point. Children want to see their parents happy. While you may not feel happy immediately after a divorce, most people get there eventually once they're relieved of the burden of living in an unhappy relationship. That feeling not only rubs off on the kids but teaches them that it's fine to choose happiness for yourself.

If you and your spouse are able to put aside your anger and emotions to work through the issues and conflicts inherent in any divorce in a cooperative manner, that can only make things easier on your children. That doesn't mean giving up the things you need or deserve. An experienced family law attorney can help you get a fair settlement and custody agreement so that you can move forward in this new phase of your life.

Source: Huffington Post, "Why a Good Divorce Is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids," Brette Sember, March. 24, 2015

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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