Pennsylvania parents who are ending their marriage may not be aware of how severely a prolonged divorce can affect children. While some suspended divorces result in parents deciding to get back together and working out their issues, others can lead to serious confusion for the children. Until the divorce is finalized, many children are left to wonder whether their parents will get back together. This uncertainty can create an environment of confusion and emotional distress.
Parents prolong their breakup for many reasons, from objections from members of their religious communities to pressure from friends and family. Divorce is often a difficult process that is full of conflict and tough decisions, so many parents get discouraged and intimidated from pressing on. In some cases, guilt about the divorce or its effect on the children can result in lengthening it and causing more confusion.
Children deserve to know what is happening in their families. The older they get without resolution to a parental dispute, the more confused the children will become. It is best to discuss any divorce plans with each child one on one to dispel any confusion about the future plans of the family. Effective co-parenting can make the post-divorce process smoother for both children and parents. Marriage counselors may be able to help parents who have difficulty finding ways to put their issues aside so they can focus on their children.
One way to help ease this process is to create a parenting plan that addresses child custody and visitation. With the assistance of their respective family law attorneys, the parents can show their children that, while mom and dad will no longer be living together, they will still be part of their children’s lives.