Holding on for the kids’ sake is not always the olive branch it appears to be

Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What does uncontested divorce mean?”


How many couples have stuck it out through the years for their children’s sake?

Olive Branch Charlotte Child Custody Lawyer Mecklenburg Divorce AttorneyMillions, according to a 2012 study commissioned by the bereavement support web site HealBee.

An astonishing ten-percent of couples told researchers they felt compelled to keep their marriage going because they feared the harm a divorce would cause to their children. Even more troubling, researchers added, was that 72-percent of couples who kept it going for their kids’ sake considered themselves separated even though they acted like a couple in front of their children.

Writing for the Huffington Post, divorce expert Brette Semper says parents who think they are selflessly preserving their marriage for their children’s sake may be doing more harm than good.

Semper acknowledges that numerous studies have concluded that divorces have deleterious effects on children’s lives in general, but Semper says divorce can be a better option if the alternative is “a violent, abusive, angry or deeply resentful marriage.”

In a post-divorce life, Semper writes, children may have to live in two homes, literally, but the physical separation of parents who do not get along anymore means that children can “just be kids without having to work around the complex negative emotions present in a conflict-filled home.”

In general, Semper concludes, happier adults—happier parents—means happier kids, and happy people living apart “is certainly a better outcome than living unhappily for years in a difficult marriage.”

Semper also focuses on the lessons children can learn from parents who are willing to face the music, in the open, instead of hiding their disputes behind the placid public façade of a marriage.

Children may learn, for instance, that personal happiness is a worthwhile goal. Sure, human relationships necessarily involve sacrifice, but when a relationship—even a relationship with a spouse—becomes abusive or exploitative, it is important that a proper example is set and that children understand that sometimes the best thing to be done with a relationship is to end it.

The end is always a beginning, it might be said, and not all marriages end because of abuse, exploitation or other like issues. Sometimes marriages end on, seemingly, much less—on boredom, on infidelity, on simply not seeing things the same way anymore. Parties to divorces that follow these disagreements may still get along, they might even get along nicely now that they do not have to hold up the sham of a marriage.

Seeing parents work out their differences through a divorce and parenting agreement can show children the importance of learning to compromise.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, it is best to consult with an experienced family-law attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact the experienced family-law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.



About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAW Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.








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