New polling has found that around eight out of ten children and young people with experience of parental separation or divorce would prefer their parents to split up if they are unhappy, rather than stay together.
The poll of young people aged 14-22 with experience of parental separation has revealed fresh insights from children about the levels of involvement and amount of information they would like during their parents’ divorce.
An overwhelming majority (82%) of the young people surveyed said that, despite their feelings at the time, they felt it was ultimately better that their parents divorced rather than stay together unhappily.
Asked what advice they would give divorcing parents, one young person said, ‘Don’t stay together for a child’s sake, better to divorce than stay together for another few years and divorce on bad terms’; while another suggests children ‘will certainly be very upset at the time but will often realize, later on, that it was for the best’.
Key findings from the research shows that children and young people want greater involvement in decision-making during the divorce process:
- 62% of children and young people polled disagreed with the statement that their parents made sure they were part of the decision-making process about their separation or divorce
- Half of young people (50%) indicate that they did not have any say as to which parent they would live with or where they would live (49%) following their parents’ separation or divorce
- Importantly, 88% say it is important to make sure children do not feel like they have to choose between their parents Around half (47%) say that they didn’t understand what was happening during their parents’ separation or divorce
- Two in ten (19%) agree that they sometimes felt like the separation or divorce was their fault When asked what they’d most like to have changed about their parents’ divorce
- 31% of young people said they would have liked their parents not to be horrible about each other to them, and 30% said they would have liked their parents to understand what it felt like to be in the middle of the process
Being exposed to conflict and uncertainty about the future are what’s most damaging for children, not the fact of divorce itself. This means it is essential that parents act responsibly, to shelter their children from adult disagreements and take appropriate action to communicate with their children throughout this process, and make them feel involved in key decisions, such as where they will live after the divorce.
At the Law Offices of Renee Lazar, I will work closely with you to achieve the goals you have for resolving your legal situation, whatever those goals are. I always practice with an eye to keeping relationships as stable and cordial as possible to help maintain future connections between parents and children, no matter the form that your family takes as things move forward.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or phone 978-844-4095 to schedule a free one hour no obligation consultation.