The “Good” Divorce?

by Peter Magee on October 20, 2016

Daniel Rod

I read an incredible article by Christine Carter PHD that spoke about a “Good” divorce. She states that:

Divorce can be done well and in a mature way that puts the kids’ needs first. There is a lot of research examining what makes divorce more beneficial — or at least less damaging — for kids.

Here is the main takeaway from all that research: Divorce is not permission to hate.

When parties separate there is a change in a relationship between them but that change is exactly that – a change – not a complete disconnection with that party. Where there are children involved parties will need to change their attitude and work together into a co-parenting relationship that is focused on the children.

The article references studies showing that low conflict and cooperation between parents is a big indicator of the adjustment of the children of the relationship.

Earlier articles I have posted here and here have spoken about the positive effects that looking after one’s self during that period will have on children and this article reinforces this.

“When parents take care of themselves during a divorce, kids do better. How well you are doing tends to predict how well your children are doing. So lean on your friends. Get therapy, or get a massage. Get enough sleep and exercise.”

I like that this article references social science on the impact of Divorce on children. It is interesting, albeit not surprising that the academic literature has suggested that limiting the amount of transition that children go through as part of separation makes it easier for the children to adapt. You want to have children that grow up to be resilient and to be well adjusted and it is very important for children to have a sense of belonging as well as a sense of home. It’s important that a child has a place for them to retreat to, such as their bedroom that allows them to process the events around them and to adjust to the changes in circumstances.

Family Law is one of the only jurisdictions that takes social science into account when making decisions and I believe that this article is a great indicator of where such science can be applied in practise.

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