Impact of Divorce on Children/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on May 20, 2015

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The May 25, 2015 edition of Time Magazine has an interview with Penelope Leach, a British author. Her recent book “When Parents Part” cites the fact that more than half of high school students do not have an intact family, with two parents. Ms. Leach concludes that in almost all situations the children are negatively impacted by the fact of divorce. While she is not an advocate of parents “staying together” for the sake of the children, she does have specific advice for divorced parents. Ms. Leach suggests “mutual parenting” which she defines as showing the children that the two parents , despite their divorce, have not “divorced” their children.

What is interesting about the article is that it highlights how a recognized parenting authority has taken on the issue of divorce as her newest contribution to the topic of children’s welfare. No responsible thinker is likely to counsel parents not to divorce in order to shield their children from emotional harm. It therefore becomes quite important for divorcing parents to consider how they can work together to re-assure their children that the impact of divorce on their lives will be diminished as much as is feasible. Divorce that is achieved via mediation can try to address such issues. It is hardly foreseeable how a litigated divorce can achieve the same. Mediate don’t litigate.

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