The concept of divorce and its overall effect on the family members especially the children has been matter of debate on how to reduce the stress levels by timing the divorce amicably.
But a study which analysed 1000 families found that children suffered irrespective of how amicably a marriage was ended.
The researchers said that the widely believed notion that a ‘good divorce’ was possible where children and adults could walk away happily was only a myth. A ‘good divorce’ is when the parents are sharing child care and get on well with each other and rarely fought.
Instead of trying for a ‘good divorce’ the marriage counselors should put more efforts to save marriages and the parents should try to protect the children from the fallout of a split the researchers appealed.
The research was initiated by comparing the welfare of children whose parents were divorced and with those whose marriages were strong.
Within the broken marriages there was not much on the overall front with all the children in a separated marriages having low self esteem, not having satisfaction with life and school or experimentation with cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.
The researchers said that overall the results provide ‘only modest support’ for the good divorce hypothesis.
It is also possible that the idea of a ‘good divorce’ caught on because people simply wanted it to be true.
Researcher Paul Amato, a professor of family sociology, said divorcing parents should be given more advice on how to help their children adapt to the sudden change in circumstances.
He called on marriage counselors to do more to save marriages that have not irretrievably broken down.
The good divorce hypothesis was a cause for concern as it creates a false belief among some parents that their children are well protected even from the effects of divorce. With all their sterling efforts they can never eliminate the damaging consequences of family he added.
He concluded that not all children with divorced parents experienced long-term problems.