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Conflict, not military divorce, can impact many children

For most Florida military parents, the decision to end their marriage is not an easy choice to make. Parents worry that their kids will suffer from a fundamental change in the family's structure. In fact, many couples will remain together for many years after the union is effectively over in order to give their kids what they believe is a stable life. Research suggests, however, that conflict within a family can have a serious negative impact on kids, even more so than a military divorce.

When parents cannot live together in a loving and supportive environment, kids pick up on the negativity that exists within their household. They are all too aware of conflict between their parents, even when the adults try to shield the kids from debates or arguments. At least one study looks at the divorce rate among people whose parents remained married despite significant tension within the family home. Those kids grew up to experience their own divorce cases at a rate higher than that of kids who went through a divorce during their childhood.

Other research suggests that when kids live within a hostile or high-conflict home, they actually fare better after their parents move through a divorce. Once the dust has settled and a new family structure is achieved, kids are able to find stability in a household where tension and conflict is far less than their previous living arrangements. That is not to say that the parents will not continue to argue once the marriage has ended; the children will simply be exposed to less of those negative interactions.

For those in Florida who are considering a military divorce and are unsure how that change might impact their kids, this research can be a source of comfort. In many cases, kids who grow up in homes where there is a high level of conflict can experience a wide range of difficulties, both during their childhood and into their adult years. Moving ahead with a divorce may mean a difficult road in the short term, but the end result can be a happier home life for all involved.

Source: techinsider.com, "One parent behavior may affect kids of divorce more than divorce itself", Rebecca Harrington, May 22, 2016

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