The decision to seek a divorce is often the result of a long and difficult journey between spouses. When they have children, they might question their choice even more, particularly as they might struggle with the idea that divorce causes irreparable harm to children. Illinois parents, however, might find it interesting that what has been perceived as harm caused to children by divorce is often linked to outside factors and not necessarily the end of their parents’ married relationship.
Divorce and children
In many cases, parents struggle to stay together because they are afraid of hurting their children by their divorce. However, research has shown that children being permanently negatively affected by divorce is not a given. More often, children might be negatively impacted by living in a household with parents who are in constant conflict. On the other hand, children raised by divorced parents who share custody and offer support and love might show little, if any, difference in stability, behavior and mental health from those raised by happily married parents.
Outside factors that might be overlooked
While the data available is not conclusive, what studies have shown is that in many cases where there is a perception of the negative impact of the parents’ divorce, outside factors might play a larger role than divorce. Some of these factors include:
• Living in poverty during their parents’ marriage and after their parents’ divorce
• Struggling with mental health issues before their parents’ marriage
• Growing up in a home where substance abuse is an issue
• Receiving bad quality parenting
While divorce will impact children, their parents’ commitment to working together to raise them in positive, supporting, loving environments will usually play a role in the long-term effects. In the end, it is in the best interest of the child to live in this environment, even if it means their parents have to end their marriage.