Points to Remember About Divorce

Research on the left and right suggests one of the most important factors in determining the success of the divorce - that is, the degree to which the former spouses can cooperate and co-parent effectively - is the behavior of the former partners. Children do not have to be damaged by divorce because the parents themselves can make the choice for their family by the way they behave toward each other both during and after the divorce.

Moreover, some spouses do not appreciate divorce does not provide them with an escape from each other.

"Many couples believe that divorce is the end of their relationship and the end of their troubles with the spouse. But for many divorcing parents, the opposite turns out to be true, because they find themselves battling over, through, and on top of the kids," Dr. Emery says.

Couples who hope to escape the unhappy, complicated entanglements of married life through divorce may find themselves more deeply entangled than ever. For these couples, a high-conflict divorce means, like the popular song, "you never can say goodbye."

Divorce almost always hurts and stresses children, especially during the first year or so. During this time, children are at risk of developing emotional problems. Their resilience does not mean they are not in pain, nor does resilience mean that the pain of divorce won’t linger into adulthood. In fact, most children of divorce report painful memories.

For some families, particularly those where conflict is a pervasive and damaging presence, divorce can come as a relief. For others, the transition is extremely painful.

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