In a recent interview family attorney Daryl G. Weinman, managing partner at Weinman & Associates, P.C. in Austin, Texas, revealed why staying in a failing marriage is detrimental for the kids.
When asked to comment, Weinman said, “The majority of my clients have a common misconception: ending a bad marriage equates to personal failure. This is simply not true, and in fact, exposing children to a toxic relationship is an even bigger failure.”
Weinman added that while many people might not know there are in a dysfunctional relationship, there are several signs.
“Some signs of a bad marriage include constant disagreements, shouting, as well as emotional and physical violence. These things can lead to a tension-filled environment which can then cause adverse effects in children,” she commented.
If exposed to this type of environment for an extended period, children may begin to experience psychological and physical problems, according to Weinman, including a sense of hopelessness, depression, mood swings, and even chronic fatigue.
These symptoms can also lead to further problems, such as disorders or substance abuse, if not resolved early on. One of the best ways to do this, Weinman says, is to take the children out of the damaging household through separation.
“The separation and divorce processes do not have to be painful for the kids. We strive to ensure the divorce process goes as smoothly as possible by finding the best resolutions for all involved parties,” she said.
She added that the quicker the divorce is finalized, the faster the children can adjust to a new living arrangement.
While divorce might not always be the most obvious option, Weinman said, it’s often the best. This is particularly true for couples who have young children.
“I would advise that a young couple who cannot resolve their issues in their marriage after exhausting all options consider divorce. This is because the younger the children are, the better they can handle the separation and divorce processes,” she commented.
Weinman added that prolonging a bad marriage until the children get older will only make it more difficult for them.
Something else that is often initially overlooked, according to Weinman, is that divorce can improve the relationship between children and their parents.
“My clients come to the realization that leaving a hostile living arrangement makes everyone happier. Ultimately, children who live in two separate but peaceful households, instead of one toxic house, are better adjusted,” she said.