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Parenting expert: It's how, not if, parents divorce that matters

For years, child experts have discussed the harmful effects parental divorce can have on children. However, the good news is that parents have the ability to lessen these negative effects by the way they handle their divorce.

According to a New York-based parenting expert, licensed psychologist, author and speaker, children suffer because of how their parents divorce, not because their parents are divorcing in the first place. He explained that it’s the high-conflict divorces that can be especially damaging on children.

Unfortunately, the parenting expert said that about 30 percent of all divorce cases involve intense parental conflict at one point or another. It’s these instances that can contribute to childhood dysfunction, he said.

Children are inherently resilient, which means they can adjust well to life after divorce with help from their parents, the parenting expert said. For example, when parents provide stability and consistent routines following a divorce, many children thrive.

The parenting expert said it’s when the divorce is combined with significant conflict that children’s resiliency is pushed too far. Children can feel caught in the middle and have not yet developed the skills to cope with this type of pressure, the parenting expert said.

When going through a divorce, it’s important to work with a family law attorney who recognizes these issues and is dedicated to solving disputes in a cooperative environment.

Our firm recognizes that when children are involved, the family relationship continues on long after the marriage ends, so it’s important to resolve the divorce in a non-contentious environment whenever possible.

Source: The Saratogian, “Terrific Parenting: Damage to children from high-conflict divorce,” Dr. Randy Cale, April 5, 2014

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