It may seem better to wait until your children are older to divorce. You may think it’s more difficult for them to understand at a young age and that they will have the ability to better cope with the situation once they are older.
Some couples choose to wait until all of their children are legal adults. While it may simplify the divorce process by taking custody, parent-time, and child support out of the equation, there are some important things to consider before deciding to wait until the children are over eighteen.
Divorce May Be in the Best Interests of Your Children
You may be choosing to let your children mature until you feel they can adequately handle the news of your divorce, but is that really best? Sometimes knowing you have had an unhappy marriage for 30 years can be just as devastating for your children, and perhaps even more so. It can hurt them knowing you stayed miserable for their sakes, and they may even blame themselves.
Divorce can be hard for children to emotionally overcome, even as adults. They may still lash out or choose sides as adults. It may be a good idea to have your child (whether a minor or an adult) attend counseling to help them understand the situation and work through their emotions.
When determining custody and other arrangements for children, Utah law requires the court to consider the best interests of the children. It is a good idea for you and your spouse to do the same when considering whether to stay together on behalf of your children. If you and your spouse spend the majority of your time together arguing, are you really doing what is in your children’s best interest? If your home is made tense by your constant arguing, it may cause problems for your children in many aspects, including school and social skills. Many children would rather have two separate homes with a happy parent in each than one home where neither parent is happy.
Divorce May Ease Your Emotional Burdens
You are keeping things together for your kids, but what about yourself? How much emotional distress can you handle? If you are in a situation of abuse of any form, it may not be worth subjecting yourself to continued abuse just to make it easier on your children.
Keep your well–being in mind as you take an assessment of your situation. Can you mentally and emotionally continue for the next few years in your current situation? If the answer is no, consider what move is best for both you and your children. It may be a good idea to see a counselor to help you through the process and asses your situation and well-being.
At the end of the day, most parents are selfless. They want to do what’s best for their children. They want to do all they can to help their children grow into the best they can be. It may seem like you have to wait to get divorced, but weigh the options to see what is really in the best interest of your family.
At Burton Law Firm, we understand the direct effect your actions can have on your children, and we can help guide you through the legal complexities of custody, parent-time, and child support. If you wish to discuss your case with one of our skilled attorneys, please contact us today.
Michael B. Lundberg is a native of Logan, Utah. While in law school, Mike served as the Executive Articles Editor of the Journal of Law and Family Studies and was published in that Journal, as well as the Utah Law Review. During his third year, he also found time to serve as President of the James E. Faust Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society.
Mike has worked in a wide variety of areas in the legal field. During law school he worked as an extern with the First District Court in Logan, and later as an extern with the Utah Court of Appeals in the chambers of Judge Carolyn McHugh. After graduation, he was awarded a Dean’s Fellowship to work with Christensen & Jensen, PC in Salt Lake City. He then spent 18 months working as a law clerk for the City Attorney in Park City. He joined Burton Law Firm after operating as a sole practitioner for two years. During this time, he also served on the board of the Utah Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar.
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