Why staying together for the kids may not be the best policy

By April 12, 2011Family Law

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Family Law on Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Children of a divorce are often portrayed as victims of their parent’s failed marriage. Certainly it can be very hard on a child to shift back in forth between parents with separate houses and separate lives or, in some cases, to barely have contact with one parent at all. Yet, the results of a recent study suggest that this story is not completely black and white; data shows that children are actually better off in the long-run when their parents escape a troubled marriage.

The study gauged the happiness of kids aged 10 to 15-years-old in 40,000 different households, asking them how satisfied they were with their family life. Researchers found that the children were more likely to describe themselves as happy if their mother was also happy in her relationship, whether or not she was divorced.

Interestingly, only the mother’s emotional well-being was significantly related to the children’s level of happiness, but the findings were dramatic. Approximately 73 percent of young people described themselves as “completely happy” when their mother was content with her life, compared to 55 percent of kids whose mom was unhappy in her relationship.

People may feel pressured to remain in an unhappy marriage for a number of reasons, including concern over the way a divorce may negatively affect their children. Yet, this study suggests that old stereotypes which victimize children of a divorce may be misleading. According to data gathered by these researchers, leaving a troubled marriage may be just as healthy for the children as it is for the parents.

Source: Science Daily, “Mum’s the Word When It Comes To Children’s Happiness.” 10 April 2011