Married couples in Florida and around the country may choose to remain in unsatisfying or even abusive relationships for a number of reasons. Marriage is generally seen as one of the foundations of civilized society, and some religions view divorce with disdain. While these factors can exert a powerful influence, it is the fear of how divorce may impact children that is most often cited by parents as their reason for staying together.

Parents who eschew divorce for the sake of their children may be acting with the noblest of intentions, but many child psychologists believe that they could actually be doing more harm than good. They point out that children are often far more perceptive than adults realize, and efforts to put a brave face on an unhappy situation may not be nearly as effective as parents believe. Experts say that children in these situations are acutely aware that their parents’ marriages are in trouble, and this knowledge can foster anxieties and fears when left unaddressed.

They may become reserved and withdrawn or find outlets for their feelings and aggression outside the home, which is exactly the outcome that their unhappy parents are hoping to avoid. Research indicates that children often fare better when their parents speak to them honestly about the problems they are going through and share their plans for the future.

Child custody disputes can become extremely heated, but parents generally want what is best for their children. Experienced family law attorneys will likely be aware of this, and they may suggest co-parenting arrangements to divorcing spouses who have children. When responsibilities and schedules are clearly defined and agreed upon, parents may find that the time they spend with their children becomes more productive and emotionally fulfilling.