A recent Huffington Post article talked about how you can damage your kids by staying in a bad marriage. The key point in the article was that children are aware of and affected by the conflict in their parents’ relationship even when they stay together. Sometimes the environment when parents remain married can be worse for them than what they would experience in a divorce situation. As a parent considering divorce, what do you do?

Rosalind Sedacca, a divorce and parenting coach, says that “The emotional and mental pain children endure when their parents are a couple in name alone doesn’t get touched on enough; the scars are much the same as for those who experience a poorly handled divorce.” Kids are confused, blame themselves and can suffer from low self-esteem and trust issues. Spouses may also be less present as parents because they are avoiding each other and so kids lose time with one or both parents anyway.

Divorce can be a better alternative to being in a home with two unhappy, hostile or apathetic parents. But that’s only if parents work on having an amicable divorce that puts children first. That’s where a collaborative divorce process can help.

A collaborative divorce process allows spouses to find a solution that works for them and their children with the assistance of financial, legal and mental health advisors. Collaborative divorce is for spouses who want to settle their issues in a non-litigation environment and are willing to work together to deal with personal, family and financial issues in a respectful and cooperative way.

It may seem that staying in a bad marriage is a better choice for your children because they still have 2 parents. However, children understand when their parents are miserable, and they will be affected by that. When parents can come together and agree on a healthy co-parenting arrangement, everyone benefits.

Collaborative divorce is not right in every situation and choosing a divorce process is an individual decision. If you are thinking about divorce, contact me to discuss your options.