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Putting the children first when deciding to divorce

For several decades, some miserable spouses would choose to remain married, believing that the children of the marriage would ultimately benefit more if their parents stayed together. Some people still believe that it is preferable for children to see their parents unhappily married rather than happily divorced.

However, other people argue that allowing children to see their parents in an unhappy marriage can harm the children more than if the parents divorce. For example, the children have no way of viewing what a happy marriage should be and, therefore, can come to view marriage as a terrible institution to be avoided. Those same parents who choose to stay together for the kids may choose another option if they realized that staying together can cause children to blame themselves for their parents' unhappiness and grow up to be anxious, guilty adults with limited happy childhood memories.

Another option is to create a child-centered divorce. The parents can work together to share important decisions. Maintaining an amiable relationship, at least in front of the children, can help turn the divorce from a scary experience for children into a positive one. In this manner, both parents and children can be happier and more well-adjusted than when children must watch their parents argue constantly.

A family law attorney may be able to guide parents through the divorce process in order to help make things easier for children of the marriage. That may include negotiating a child custody arrangement or mediating child support. It could also include representing a parent at trial to ensure that the judge returns a decision that is in the best interests of the children.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce or Stay? Parents Must Put Kids First Either Way," Rosalind Sedacca, April 3, 2013

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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