Staying Together for the Sake of the Children

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyIt is never easy realizing that your marriage is heading toward divorce but for those couples with children the decision is even harder to reach but is it best to stay together for the sake of the children? Even as the national divorce rate has notably decreased over the past 10 years, how we manage divorce and the children involved is still a statistical presence.

Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, a parenting coach for Child-Centered Divorce, an online parenting support network, expressed her views on the effect of trying to stay together for the sake of the children.

Unhealthy Relationships

Sedacca stresses that if the marriage fails to foster a healthy atmosphere, the conflict does more harm than good for the children involved. If the parents are continually arguing or showing outward signs of disrespect these acts will produce a negative energy within the home and may leave the children with emotional scarring.

She also stresses that parents are role models for their children and if the family is in constant conflict the children could develop unhealthy relationship habits of their own which could last a lifetime.

Jumping Ship

If one parent consciously chooses to leave the relationship and plans on petitioning for sole or shared child custody, when is the right time to make the move?

Sedacca acknowledges that there is never a perfect time to leave the marriage but advises those who are leaving to be prepared both physically and emotionally. She suggests, if possible to plan the separation during the summer months so the children are not uprooted at school in addition to learning how to reside in two households. Communication is a key element as to how each child will react to the new and unfamiliar family dynamic.

Married vs. Long-Term Relationship

Even if a relationship is not recognized by a civil union, the depth of the relationship of the children involved should also be considered. Questions such as:

  • What is the depth of the relationship between the children and exiting partner;
  • Are the children emotionally attached to the exiting partner; and
  • Will the children experience emotions such as hurt, pain and a sense of loss?

Sedacca believes that even in this situation, the children need to be heard and warns either partner not to judge or play upon these emotions. She also suggests that for the emotional safety of the children, clear co-parenting and communication skills should be practiced amongst everyone involved.

Divorce is alive and well but when a couple believes that by staying in a struggling marriage for the sake of the children is a better alternative, Sedacca advises both spouses to truthfully answer the following questions before making the final decision.

  • Do we love our children more than we dislike each other;
  • Would we be making the same joint parental decisions if we opted for divorce; and
  • How will our children describe their family dynamic when they reach adulthood?

Deciding to divorce is an emotional decision, especially for those raising a family. For many, a healthy family dynamic leaves a spouse with no other option and is left wondering if the legalities will overshadow the well-being of the children involved. At the Law Offices of Martoccio & Martoccio, our Hinsdale divorce attorneys understand the challenges of a family in need of experienced legal representation. Contact our Hinsdale location at 630-920-8855 to learn more about our legal services today.


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