Since divorce can be so traumatic on children, many couples try to do anything they can to shield their children from this fate. When examining the aspects of whether a couple should or should not divorce, it is important to take into account various data points regarding each particular family.
There are many reasons that some couples decide to stay together. One may be that they are able to maintain normal family relations regardless of their martial state. In this instance, the parents might believe that since their issues are not harming their children, they will continue to maintain the family dynamic until they are no longer able to do so. These particular parents have made the decision to suppress their own needs until the children are older and out of the home so there will be less traumatic events for the children.
Monetary issues also play a role in whether couples stay together. If the couple deems that by separating they will be in great financial distress, they may wait until both parents will be stable enough on their own. These couples know that if they had to separate, both the parents and children would suffer due to the monetary loss. For example, a mother who had originally stayed at home might have to return to work. In turn, younger children might be forced into a childcare situation which would be a big change for them. Other issues would affect the children if there were monetary strains from a divorce, from large changes such as a loss of their home to even small changes such as not being able to purchase extra items such as toys.
There are, of course, instances when staying together is not the best option, regardless of stress or financial situations. Issues such as domestic violence, abuse, neglect and severe parental fighting are instances when it would be more beneficial for a child to go through the divorce.
Anytime there is abuse in a home, it is immediate grounds to vacate the home or displace the abuser. In instances of abuse, both parents should set aside their marital needs and immediately find a safe and secure place for the children. There are some marriages and families that can survive abuse; however, while it is occurring a change needs to be made immediately to assure the safety of the children.
In a situation of domestic violence, it is also better for a child to be separated from the original family unit. Seeing domestic violence occur, to either parent, can be a very traumatic and dangerous situation for any child. In these cases the victim and her children need to receive great support (if it is available to them) and seek a place of refuge and safety.
Last, if the home is very volatile or filled with neglect, it might be better for a couple to separate than stay together. Children need and deserve a safe and calm environment in which they can flourish. If the couple's home is becoming filled with angry parental fighting, this can be very traumatic for their children. In these cases, the parents should separate to create a sense of calm for the family. In this separation they can take the space needed to regain stability in their household and also asses their family's future needs.
There are many arguments to whether it is better for a couple to divorce or remain together. Each family should carefully weigh the positives and negative outcomes that might arise from each decision. As noted, if violence is ever a part of the equation, it is always better to separate the children and assure their safety regardless of their age. During a time of separation or divorce, children need to feel supported, and it is the parents' job to create an atmosphere most conducive to their prosperity. Finding support for both parents and children will assure a smoother outcome in either situation.
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