We’ve heard it a hundred times, “stay together for the kids.” But, what does that even mean? To most American households it means not being a part of the 40 percent of families that produce children of broken homes. It may mean avoiding child support or splitting visitation. And, for some families, it means presenting the facade of a happy family for the sake of the children. With more than 43 percent of the nation’s children being products of broken homes and the emphasis placed on how this can lead to interpersonal relationship issues, discipline problems, and behavioral concerns, staying together for the kids may seem like a selfless act.

Join us today as we discuss some of the pros and cons of staying in a marriage strictly for the benefit of the children. For all family matters including divorce and child custody, contact the family legal team at Petrelli Previtera, LLC.

Before we dive right into reasons you may consider staying versus leaving, we would like to offer one very important caveat. If there are safety concerns, for yourself or your children, there should never be any debate or weighing of pros or cons. Safety should be your priority and if you are in a situation involving domestic violence, immediately seek help and a safe exit from the situation.

The Benefits of Making it Work (Pros)

Collaborative parenting develops well-adjusted children.

It should come as no surprise that children who have full-time direct love, support, and encouragement from both of their parents, get everything they need to develop into well-adjusted adults. If you and your spouse are good partners and collaborative co-parents, this statistic may serve as a major pro in your decision to stay in a less-than-ideal marriage for the sake of the children.

Faking it may help repair things for real.

This is the same theory as when you pretend to be asleep and end up falling asleep. Sometimes there are issues or difficult times in a marriage that make divorce seem like a viable option. However, some of those times are temporary or situational. Faking a happy marriage for the sake of the children may actually help you see the good in each other and remind you of why you feel in love in the first place.

The Benefits of Calling it Quits (Cons)

Kids can sense your lies and unhappiness.

Children are a lot smarter and observant than they may be given credit for. If you and your spouse are constantly fighting or hurting each other, or if your disdain has caused you to completely resent each other, your children will sense that. They may feel the tension and suffer their own pain. Additionally, they may learn that this is what normal marriages look like and find themselves in a similar situation in their relationships down the road.

Life is short and you deserve to be happy.

Parenting is a selfless, thankless job. While this is true, life is short and we all deserve to be happy. Yes, you can resolve most marital conflicts, find happiness, and be a functioning family. However, sometimes the truth is that the marriage is toxic or destructive, and the best chances for a happy ending for everyone involved is divorce.

If you have given your marriage its best shot and have decided that it is best for everyone involved — children included — contact the experienced family law team and Petrelli Previtera, LLC for the legal representation you and your family deserve. We can help you with all family law matters including child custody, child support, mediation, and divorce. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.