Many married couples have children and hope that they can become one big happy family for life. However, life has other plans and happily ever after does not always happen. The marriage ends up failing and the couple tries to figure out when to divorce.
This can be tricky when there are children involved. What age should the children be when you divorce? Is 5 years old a good age? Should they wait until their child is a teen? Should they wait until their child is grown and out of the house?
There is never a good time to divorce. Children are always going to be affected in some way, and that’s to be expected. Young children lack the maturity to process the divorce. Teens are dealing with high school and hormones and feel moody and insecure. College-bound children are needing security as they test out their independence. Knowing that their parents are divorcing can turn their lives upside down at a critical time.
No matter what you decide, there are two main points to keep in mind. First, you never want to stay in a bad marriage for the sake of your child. A chaotic home can truly affect a child. Parental conflict takes its toll on children, who are often stuck in the middle. Believe it or not, having two separate homes is healthier for children than living in one home with tension.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, as mentioned above, you shouldn’t announce a divorce as your child is leaving for college. This is surprisingly the one of the worst times to divorce. Children are scared as they test their independence. They need both parents to guide them through. They need to focus on school, not their family issues.
Another thing that is surprising is that children often take the news of divorce better than adults. An 8-year-old will likely have a better time dealing with divorce than a 30-year-old. Children are more resilient, while adults tend to worry more. They wonder how the divorce will affect them. Many are upset with both parents. They have trust issues. They may be married themselves and wonder if they will divorce as well.
In short: if you are contemplating divorce, just pull the trigger. The sooner, the better. Your young children will get over it. Your adult children? It may take longer.
While many parents think they are doing their children a favor by waiting to divorce when they are grown, staying in a chaotic home is not good for a child’s development. Children need to learn early on what a good relationship looks like, and you are not helping if you and your spouse are constantly fighting.
The Columbia divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help you with divorce with less stress. Don’t stay in a toxic marriage for the sake of your marriage. Let us help you break free. Call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation. We have two offices to serve you.
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