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Is it better to stay together 'for the sake of the children'? Cally Griffiths discusses

As a solicitor practising solely in family matters, it is a phrase I hear frequently. I have always maintained that my belief is that children will be far happier with too parents who are content in themselves (even if separated) than they would be living within a house full of tension.

However a recent American study has shown that children do fall behind with both social skills and academic studies whilst their parents are going through a divorce. The study by the American Sociological Association also suggests that children do not catch up with their classmates once the divorce is over.

There are many reasons why children are inevitably affected by divorce proceedings; not least the stress of seeing their parents get divorced, an unstable environment or being forced to move with one parent after the divorce. What the study does not look at is the ongoing stresses of a family forcing itself to stay together and the impact that this may have on children.

As a family practitioner of many years experience I strongly believe that if both parents approach the separation in a manner that limits the impact on the children and always have the children’s best interests at heart, the children will be left feeling secure in their relationships with both parents and settled in their new living arrangements.


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