One of the issues you can’t help but worry about when your marriage is ending is whether growing up with divorced parents will increase your children’s chances of facing the same dilemma later in life. It’s hard not to let your mind go there but rest assured that kids with divorced parents are not simply destined to have failed marriages themselves. Relationships are too complex to rely on a single predictive factor.
It is true that ending your marriage will have an effect on your children, but there are many actions you can take to lessen the impact. Think about your kids’ best interests when drawing up your custody agreement and perhaps consider mediation. What kids want to know most is that they’ll always have the love and support of both parents. Just as importantly, they need both their mom and dad to stay present in their lives, regardless of whether they live together or not.
There are many ways in which families structure custody and visitation to assure that the kids have a loving family home and relationship with both parents. Making an effort to ensure your children get equal time on special occasions like birthdays and holidays, is a great way to make them feel the presence of both mom and dad. It’s also a good example of how to structure your custody agreement around your kid’s emotional needs rather than your own.
It’s Less Common Now Than it Used to Be
There is no shortage of theories regarding the potential impact of divorce on children. Some of which are purely anecdotal while others have the backing of science.
Research conducted in the 1970’s found that being the child of divorced parents actually doubled a person’s chances of divorcing as an adult. In an encouraging development, recent studies revealed that number has dropped significantly with the likelihood of getting divorced at only 1.2 times that of people who came from “intact” families.
Another determining factor in how one’s future marriage will fare is gender. Women with divorced parents have a higher likelihood of divorce than their male counterparts. The more dramatic risk factor appears to be when both husband and wife have divorced parents. In this case, their marriage is 189% more likely to fail than husbands and wives whose families stayed intact when they were growing up.
How This Affects You
Keep in mind that statistics simply represent the average outcome. You and your spouse have it in your power to change the narrative. Through constructive communication, careful thought and proper planning, your children can still grow up in a happy and secure household despite their parent’s divorce.
Armed with the knowledge that being the child of divorced parents puts you at a higher risk of divorce, maybe seek a marital counselor to help you resolve issues before they are too big to fix. If divorce is eminent, you may want to consider speaking with an attorney about how to approach your divorce in an amicable manner keeping the kids best interest at the forefront. Contact our Orange County Family Lawyers if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss this or any other family law matter.