As parents, it’s the manner of your divorce that matters

Many couples hold off from divorcing because they believe it will harm their children. Yet if divorce reduces the instances in which your kids have to see you arguing or fighting, then not divorcing will likely harm them more.

Living with parental conflict can be incredibly damaging for children. They can feel trapped in the middle, forced to choose a side, or afraid to speak for fear that their parents will get upset with each other over what they reveal.

Divorcing might not end all parental conflict

Ending a marriage will remove a lot of the sources of conflict. Yet, the actual divorce process may increase it in the short term as parents “fight” over custody, child support and property division.

How can you avoid fighting?

It’s not easy, but it’s not that difficult, either. You need to make the decision not to fight about things and stick to it.

Surely you need to stand up for yourself?

You do, but you also need to accept that you can’t have everything your way. You might want to keep the house, but so might your spouse. You might want to have the children live with you, but so might your spouse. 

Compromise is key

Once you accept that what you want is toward one end of the scale and what your spouse wants is toward the other, you can start to move back toward the middle. Mediation is a great way of doing this. You will work with a neutral third party to try and reach a happy compromise. That change in attitude from fighting about things to trying to reach an agreement should lessen the conflict, making divorce less taxing on you and your kids.