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Reasons Why Staying Together for The Children May Not Be the Best Idea


The language we use that circles around divorce can be scary – at Buckhead Family Law, we’ve heard it all when we talk about divorce and child custody in Atlanta. One of the most common (and disheartening) phrases we hear is that our clients are considering sucking it up and “staying together for the kids,” while they themselves are miserable. While this may seem like a chivalrous and admirable gesture, it can actually be the most harmful and unhealthy decision for a plethora of reasons.

1.                  It Isn’t Going to Get Any Easier as They Age

Many people choose to stay together for the kids for now – meaning they postpone divorce and wait until their children go to college or move out on their own to separate. This may seem like a good idea because you won’t have to navigate the complications of child custody, but the truth is that it isn’t going to get easier. Your child may feel like you had been lying to them if they come home from college for Thanksgiving break and find out you are no longer living together. In fact, adult children seem to be significantly impacted by divorce even more so than younger children in some families.

No matter how long you wait, it isn’t going to be easier on you, and it isn’t going to be easier on your children.

2.      In Many Cases, It Makes the Eventual Divorce Worse

How long will you be able to make staying together for the kids work? Most people will make it a few more months or maybe even a few years before the harsh reality takes hold. Then, someone cheats, or a big blow-up happens, and your child(ren) know the truth. The result? A divorce that is messier and more complicated than it was going to be if you had separated when you both first knew it was over. When you don’t have these emotions clouding your way, you will be better co-parents and every big event in your child’s life won’t be overshadowed by the need to keep the two of you apart.

Is there a chance that it won’t get worse and that you will be able to move on in a healthy way? There is, but without significant and meaningful change from at least one spouse, unfortunately, that chance is exceedingly small.

3.      You Need to Model Healthy Relationships

One of the most important reasons you should not entertain the idea of staying together for the kids is because you need to model healthy relationships for your child(ren). They need to see parents who are happy, healthy, and doing what is best for themselves. Even if you try to keep your feelings and the fact that you don’t love each other anymore behind closed doors, your children will ultimately pick up on the coldness between you.

Do you want your child(ren) to stay in relationships where they aren’t happy and healthy? The answer should be no – so it’s best not to model that behavior. Instead, model good behavior regarding divorce and child custody in Atlanta. Don’t talk poorly about your ex-spouse in front of your children and try your best to keep them out of the middle of everything.

4.      Your Child(ren) Deserve A Happy Parent

If you aren’t happy in your relationships and you really are just staying together for the kids, you are ultimately cheating your child(ren). A happy parent who loves their life is more likely to be active with their children, help them with their own problems, and make happier memories of their childhood. Too often, we think of divorce as something that makes our child(ren) sad, but that isn’t necessarily the case anymore. Studies that show anything like that date back to a time when divorce was uncommon, looked down upon, or seen as a failure. In today’s world, it is actually more detrimental to children if their parents aren’t happy than if they get divorced.

It’s important to remember that you owe it to your child(ren) to model a healthy, stable and loving relationship just as much as you owe it to yourself to be happy.

Determining Child Custody in Atlanta

Child custody can be an extremely contentious time. The Atlanta child custody lawyers at Buckhead Family Law are here to assist you with your case and help this be a positive turning point for your family – not an end. Schedule a consultation by calling at 404-600-1403.

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