When you and your spouse have children together, you may feel pressured to stay in an unhappy marriage for their sake. Perhaps you fear that your children will be caught in the middle of a messy divorce process, or you may be worried about how their lives will change if they no longer live in a two-parent household. These are certainly valid concerns, but staying together may have negative effects on your children as well. Rather than delaying the inevitable, it may be best to consider your options for a divorce that leaves both you and your children in a better place.
How Staying Together Can Harm Your Children
You may have good intentions for attempting to stay together, but this can be harmful for your children in ways that you may not expect. For example, if you and your spouse are frequently angry with each other and engaging in destructive conflict, you may be modeling an unhealthy relationship in a way that affects how your children approach their own relationships. This is especially true if there is physical or emotional abuse in your household, not to mention the fact that your children may be at risk of physical or mental harm. If you are preoccupied with conflict in your marriage, you may also be unable to devote the time, energy, and attention to your children that they need.
Alternatives That Can Help Your Children
If your marriage is struggling, there are often more productive options than simply trying to ignore or cope with the problems. Some alternatives that can help both you and your children include:
Couples’ or family therapy: If you believe that it is possible to repair your marriage, you may consider attending therapy with your spouse so that a trained professional can help you work through your challenges.
Legal separation: If you are not ready to commit to divorce but are worried about conflict with your spouse in front of your children, you may consider a legal separation in which the two of you live in separate households but stay legally married.
A thoughtful parenting plan: Sometimes divorce truly is the option that allows you to be the best possible parent. During the divorce process, you should try to cooperate with your spouse if possible to agree on a plan for allocating parenting time and parental responsibilities based on your children’s best interests.
Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney
At the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we understand how important your children are to you and how much they may factor into decisions about your marriage and divorce. We can help you understand your legal options for separation or divorce and work toward a resolution that protects your children. Contact a DuPage County divorce lawyer today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.