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How your divorce choices can impact your children later in life

Divorce is a difficult time of transition for every member of the family. In many cases, this process is most traumatic for the youngest members of the family. While children are resilient and can overcome a significant amount of hardship, Kentucky parents do not want to underestimate how their choices during a divorce can impact their children well into the future.

A recent study looked the marriages of adults who, while they were children, watched their parents divorce. The results may be disheartening. It appears that children of divorce are more likely to get divorced themselves in the future. However, there are certain steps you can take to reduce the emotional and mental strain of this situation and set them up for long-term success.

Your divorce and your children

Parents often disagree over issues related to their children, but your kids are probably not the reason why you chose to end your marriage. Even when they know a divorce is not their fault, kids may feel like they are somehow to blame. This can create an underlying uncertainty about themselves and how to navigate relationships as adults when things get hard.

Some people who watched their parents divorce actually find that they are more determined to make their marriage last. They experienced the pain of divorce in their past, and they want to spare their children. Statistics indicate, however, that adults whose parents divorced are disproportionately more likely to walk the same path than people who came from intact homes. 

Understanding why

It is possible that one reason why adults are more likely to divorce when their parents divorced is because they do not have the skills to navigate rough patches in a marriage. They may not know how to resolve conflict or how to act when there is an argument. For some, they model the behavior they observed, and so they end the marriage.

Breaking the pattern

You cannot control what your kids will do in the future, but there are steps you can take now to provide them with a strong and stable post-divorce life. By modeling mutual respect and cooperation, even during and after divorce, you can teach your children positive behavior. By working through co-parenting conflicts reasonably and amicably, you can ease the stress that children may carry with them after divorce.

It's perfectly reasonable to want to protect your parental rights, but it may help you protect your kids' long-term interests by keeping their needs first. Instead of letting your feelings drive your decisions, consider what will work best for the children.

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