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Family law: Parents may risk the best interests of the children

Some couples in British Columbia endure unhappy marriages for many years before they finally decide to file for divorce. In many of these cases, parents convince themselves that staying together is in the best interests of the children. However, therapists and other family law authorities believe that it is more harmful to children to be in the toxic environment of an unhappy marriage than to be children of divorced parents.

While some parents have explosive personalities, and fighting in the presence of their children is nothing unusual, others pretend to be happy. It is often said that children miss nothing, and despite the roles that their parents play, the children experience confusion that causes psychological and emotional scars. If unhappiness breeds conflict, children may feel uneasy in their homes because they never know what triggers arguments. Sadly, these circumstances can cause children to have a low self-esteems that will carry through to hamper relations in adulthood.

When children sense unhappiness in their parents, they often feel responsible. Believing that they are the cause of the unhappiness, but not knowing what it is that they do to cause their parents' grief, brings about only more confusion in young minds. To avoid the toxic atmosphere of an unhappy marriage, parents sometimes avoid spending time at home, leaving the children even more confused and distressed. The relationships that children observe between their parents become the norm for them., This may jeopardize their chances ever to have relationships in which love, joy, happiness, harmony and respect are present.

Parents who are no longer happy together may avoid years of unhappiness by not postponing discussions about divorce. Ending a marriage before all communication and respect breaks down can lead to co-parenting without compromising parent-child relationships. With the support and guidance of experienced British Columbia lawyers who focus on family law, agreements may be reached that can dissolve the marriage without causing permanent harm to any party, while truly protecting the best interests of the children.

Source: The Huffington Post, "7 Ways You Can Damage Your Kids By Staying In A Bad Marriage", Brittany Wong, Accessed on Nov. 17, 2016

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