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To Divorce or Stay Together for the Kids?

People decide to get married for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes that union results in raising children. If the marriage begins to deteriorate, couples may struggle with the decision to split up or stay together for the sake of their children. It is often unclear which option is better for the children; divorce or sticking together.

If youre considering divorce, consider the issues that are creating problems in the marriage. If the grounds for divorce include verbal or physical abuse, infidelity, or addiction, then leaving your spouse might be the best option for the safety of you and your children. Consider filing for an order of protection before or during your divorce if there is any threat of danger to you or your children. Divorce will allow some control over who has physical and legal custody of your child in cases of abusive or otherwise unfit to parent.

If you are considering divorce because you have grown apart from your spouse, marriage counseling might be an option.

Raising a child in an environment filled with conflict is not easy. While you might be there for your child physically, it might not be easy to show them the love and support they need while arguing with a spouse. It might be better to remove them from a contentious and even potentially hazardous situation. If youve already decided on a divorce but are on good terms with your spouse, consider alternative dispute resolutions such as collaborative law or mediation.

Research about how children recover from divorce may ease some of the worry about splitting up with a spouse. Psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington of the University of Virginia and one of her graduate students, Anne Mitchell Elmore completed such a study in 2002. They found that children often experience short-term side effects like anxiety, shock, disbelief and even anger after a split. However, the majority of children rebounded and their symptoms decreased or disappeared by the second year after the divorce. Only a small number of children continued to express those feelings more than two years later.

The most important thing to remember before filing for divorce is to consider the best interest of your children. That is the same principle that judges use to settle child custody issues during a divorce. The divorce court may assign a guardian ad litem whose job it is to represent the child and their best interests during a divorce.

Contact an experienced divorce attorney in DuPage County to begin this process today.

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