Staying in a marriage for the sake of the children is almost always a mistake. It’s true some couples are able to make it work over time, but not all couples are able to make their marriage a happy one for the kids. Divorce is never easy, but it allows both parents to find themselves and their happiness. This allows kids to grow up with happier parents who enjoy their lives much more, and that allows parents to be more present in the lives of their kids. Being miserable and married isn’t setting a good example for the kids, but we understand making the decision isn’t easy. Arizona child support lawyers like ours see it all, and we have words of advice for those who can’t decide what to do next.
The Example You’re Setting
Perhaps you assume staying married for the sake of the kids is the right thing to do, and their feelings are more important than your own. Noble as this is, the decision you’re making is a dangerous one. The example you set for your kids in your marriage plays a significant role in how they view marriage and relationships when they grow up. By staying in a miserable marriage, you teach your kids that marriage isn’t happy, that it’s a punishment, and that couples don’t spend any happy time together. Is that the example you want to set for your kids, or would you rather them see you happy?
Kids are Resilient
Many people say this all the time. When a child falls down, scrapes his leg, and gets hurt, you might cringe inwardly while pretending nothing happened on the outside. Your children see your reaction and lack of concern as a sign they are fine, and most of them only cry for a moment before bouncing right back. Your own knee probably hurts just looking at their knee, but kids are resilient and bounce back quickly. Remember this if you decide divorce is the next best step for you. It’s difficult on them, but they do find a way to make it happier all the way around.
Be Kind With Custody
If you do decide to move forward with your divorce, remember to treat the kids like children and not possessions. They’re not yours or your spouse’s; they are both of yours. This means you should make it an effort to come up with a custody agreement that allows you both to spend as much time with your kids as you would like. Instead of telling your ex that it’s not his weekend with the kids if he wants to spend some time with them, ask yourself if you’re doing anything special with them or if they might want to spend that time with their other parent. It makes it easier all the way around.
Choosing to divorce, dealing with custody issues, and handling the emotions of children in the middle of a difficult time is never easy, but it’s imperative to keep them first and foremost in your mind. You can make a decision that’s better for the kids even if it doesn’t seem you can. No one wants to be divorced, but sometimes it’s the best thing you can do for your children.