I have seen many ugly divorces and custody battles. It is without doubt an ugly divorce where children are used as pawns or placed in the middle of conflict will cause serious emotional harm to children. It has been a pleasant change that the procedures and family law rules have now been changed to encourage amicable resolution of custody disputes without ugly litigation through Mediation or Social Early Neutral Evaluation and to minimize Temporary Hearings until amicable Alternative Dispute Resolution is attempted.
Some experts are also now confirming that divorce can have some positive benefits to children. Jackie Middleton has stated in Canadian Living that many divorce children can experience these five benefits:
1. Divorced children often learn to be Resilient and Adaptable.
2. Divorced Children often learn to be more Self-Sufficient.
3. Divorced Children often have an increased sense of Empathy towards others.
4. Divorced Children will often not take their own marriage for granted.
5. Divorced Children often learn more about each parent based on the quality time they spend alone with each parent individually rather than in a family setting.
There is far from consensus opinion on how divorces affect children. But based on my observations and experience it is very important to keep the children out of the conflict. Children do far better when they have both parents in their lives and are not subject to a parent constantly bad-mouthing the other.
Your children will be much better off, as will you, if you find a way to settle your Parenting Disputes and avoid Custody Litigation and a Custody Trial. Sometimes this is not possible, but do your children a favor and do your best to keep them out of the conflict.
A good divorce lawyer can litigate when necessary, but also can guide you through more amicable options and procedures that can lead to an amicable settlement. It is critical to promptly retain an experienced divorce attorney at the beginning of any divorce or custody dispute.