Even with constant fighting and sleepless nights, married couples often avoid “the D-word.”. After all, the idea behind marriage is till death do you part, a final commitment to another person to stay with them through the good and bad, so it is common for people to feel like a divorce is a failure of some kind. If there are children involved, the resistance is even greater because the parents want their kids to have a “normal” family.
However, while it is certainly not the happy ending you expected, divorce is not the catastrophic world-ender you may think it is. No, it probably won’t be easy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t make everyone involved better and happier in the long run — children very much included. Sometimes, staying together for the kids can hurt more than help them. In fact, it usually does.
How forcing an unhappy marriage can hurt your children
As any parent can attest, sometimes your decisions can hurt your children without you meaning to at all.
Children are both incredibly perceptive and absorbent. This means they notice more than you think and retain it deeper than they know. So, if a child’s parents do not love — or even like — each other, even if they try to keep their fighting behind closed doors, the children most likely know on some level. Not to mention how near-impossible it is to actually keep such conflicts out of your child’s earshot, especially when you are all under one roof and fighting over very sensitive topics.
If and when it all bubbles to the surface, the child will be there, listening to every shout, watching every rolled eye, and noticing every night one parent spends on the couch or in the guest room. Such constant conflict can lead to your children internalizing it as normal, which means they may lack healthy role-models and act accordingly. Whether this means acting out at school or befriending (or worse — dating) dangerous and unhealthy people, it all boils down to what their home-life teaches them about the world.
In the same vein, ending that unhealthy, harmful relationship shows your children that such a thing is both possible and encouraged. It also allows both parents to be more present in their children’s lives. . Children internalize that, too, and often become more resilient, self-sufficient individuals who know how to protect themselves. One day, they may even thank you for it.
Deciding divorce is the right choice
Regardless of the situation, deciding on a divorce is never easy. When kids are involved, it can still seem even harder. You wanted it to work. You both did, and you both really tried — or maybe only one of you did, and that’s the problem. Either way, there comes a point where enough is simply enough, and the relationship needs to end. If you are unsure where that point is, these five signs may help:
- Your spouse refuses to responsibly save and manage money, and may go on shopping sprees or otherwise make big purchases without consulting you or thinking of the family.
- Your spouse is an addict of some sort, and refuses to seek help or even admit there is a problem.
- Your spouse lacks ambition or drive to achieve anything, and refuses to change this in any meaningful capacity.
- Your children show a misunderstanding of healthy relationships, platonically or otherwise.
- Perhaps most important, you realize you and your child would be happier with the marriage over. Once you are fantasizing about running away with them, it is time to call an attorney.
We would also add one more important factor that indicates a marriage should end: if your spouse is abusive toward you and/or your children, it is time to consider a divorce. This abuse may be physical, verbal, or both. Either way, the safety or you and your children is paramount.
Once you have made the decision to end your marriage, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed – even if you and your spouse reached the decision together and on amicable terms. Divorces can be incredibly complicated and drawn-out, but they do not need to be. Working with a Charlotte divorce attorney as quickly as possible can help you avoid and mitigate a lot of stressors and issues before they happen, even though you will need to be separated for a year before North Carolina will allow a divorce.
There are ways to make everything easier. Some arguments may be unavoidable, but you may even be able to get around going to court if you play your cards right and with the right help on your side. If you do have to go to court, your representation will be doing most of the heavy lifting on your behalf, and they can walk you through and assist you with what’s left over — including figuring out custody agreements.
At the Epperson Law Group, our team of experienced and compassionate Charlotte divorce attorneys know how sensitive and stressful these cases can be. We put our focus entirely on our client and getting them what they deserve and need to live the lives they want, which includes helping you protect the rights and happiness of your children. With offices in Charlotte, Boone, Concord, and Weddington, we are proud to be right where you need us, when you need us. To learn more, give us a call at 704-321-0031 or use our contact form.
Epperson Law Group, PLLC, is guided by a commitment to helping clients achieve favorable results in an efficient manner. Our Charlotte divorce and family law attorneys work with clients every day who face a range of divorce, custody, and other family law issues. We are equipped to help you appropriately resolve some of the most important legal matters you will ever need to address. We invite you to learn more about our team.