For parents going through or considering a divorce in New Hampshire, one of the biggest concerns is often how the separation will affect the children. Parents always want what is best for their child, but in many cases living in a home with parents who do not get along to be more harmful than beneficial. For this reason, more than 1.5 million children in the US have experienced divorce. An article in Scientific America asks the question “Is Divorce Bad For Children?” and looks at some evidence that suggests it may not be. For any parent thinking about divorce, this is an important topic to consider.
Minimizing the Effects of Divorce in Children
In the article, the authors looked at number of scientific studies and found that children with divorced parents fared fairly similar to those whose parents stayed married in the long term. They discussed how studies have shown that children who experience parents divorcing are affected by the event, but recover rapidly. They also found that as adults the majority of children whose parents divorced can still lead successful lives and form string relationships. Many of this is due to the fact that children seem to “bounce back” from trauma with relative ease.
While this evidence is encouraging, there is one common thread that all of these studies take into account and that is the amount of conflict that the child is subject to. In any divorce, there is bound to be some parental conflict. However, children are usually able to overcome this if the conflict ends once the divorce is settled. When children are subject to highly contentious divorces and unstable home loves post-divorce, they are more likely have a harder time coping. The articles states:
“Researchers have consistently found that high levels of parental conflict during and after a divorce are associated with poorer adjustment in children.”
Many studies suggest that the faster and easier a divorce is settled, the more likely children are to recover from it quickly. Parents can help them by being supportive and also keeping the amount if conflict to a minimum. The authors write that:
“Children fare better if parents can limit conflict associated with the divorce process or minimize the child's exposure to it.”
Though virtually all divorces result in some disagreements between parties, parents should find ways to resolve their conflicts amicably and avoid dragging their children into court in order to help their child cope with the situation. They may also want to consider avoiding divorce litigation and instead look into the benefits of mediation or Collaborative Divorce.
Choosing Collaborative Divorce
In order to minimize the amount of conflict that children experience during a divorce, parents should consider all of their divorce options. In New Hampshire, divorcing parties are given the option of choosing Collaborative Divorce to settle their issues. Collaborative Divorce allows parents to work together with their respective lawyers as well as a mental health professional in order to settle their divorce. The process works similar to mediation except that attorneys and professionals are allowed to give opinions and advice and all parties must agree prior to beginning the process to avoid litigation.
The Collaborative process allows parents to avoid the combative feelings and court battles commonly associated with typical litigated divorces. Not only does this stop children from feeling like they're stuck in the middle, it also allows for parents to custom tailor their parenting plan to fit their children's specific needs. When parents work together rather than allowing a judge to decide what is best for their family, they can be creative in deciding which parent will be responsible for each individual aspects of the child's life. For example, one parent can be assigned the responsibility for making decisions regarding a child's education and the other given the power to make this to choose the child's religious upbringing as well as their major medical decisions.
In addition to all these benefits, Collaborative Divorce is a way for parents to foster an amicable relationship between each other. When a divorce is settled through compromise rather than conflict, parents are more likely to be happier with the overall results. They can also use Collaborative Divorce to learn tools for working together that they can use in the future. This can lead to a more stable parenting situation for children post-divorce.
If you are parent and are considering divorce in New Hampshire, take a moment to learn more about Collaborative Divorce. At Russman Law, we can answer your questions about the Collaborative process and tell you more about the benefits.