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Family law: Staying together for the kids may not benefit them

There will likely always be parents in New Jersey and other states whose relationships with each other have deteriorated entirely, but they choose to remain together for the sake of the children. They might be unaware of recent international studies that confirm the findings of a 2012 American family law study. The consensus is that most children are not damaged by the divorce but rather by living in households where animosity is ever-present. In certain circumstances, children are better off after their parent's divorce.

The American Academy of Pediatrics found in a 2012 study that children who have the support and assurance of the ongoing love of both parents throughout and beyond a divorce actually benefit from it and find it easier to adjust to the new circumstances. When children remain in households in which conflict is prevalent, exposure to violence is often also present. Poor communication between parents along with poor co-parenting has proved to be a link in a significant number of children who develop emotional and physical ailments.

The studies revealed that rather than the divorce, it is the antagonistic behavior between parents that harm the children. Children often become stressed and engulfed in self-blame with ongoing exposure to hostility, arguments and conflict. Some parents find that while it is impossible for them to live together without fighting, they are quite capable of having an amicable relationship when they are not together.

Regardless of their problems with each other, most New Jersey parents want what is best for their children -- that is why some mistakenly want to stay together. To protect the best interests of the children, the most appropriate step in these circumstances might be for each parent to consult with a family law attorney. A lawyer can assist with the process of negotiating a divorce settlement or even arrange mediation or collaboration to avoid battling in court. If litigation is the only way to resolve the couple's issues, the attorneys will be ready to represent them in the court.

Source:, "Should you stay together for the kids?", Myra Fleischer, Accessed on Sept. 9, 2017

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