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How divorce may affect children

Illinois parents who are thinking about ending their marriage might have heard that doing so can increase the risk of divorce for their children. It may also increase the likelihood that the children will develop emotional problems or not go to college. However, there may still be circumstances in which getting a divorce might be the better choice.

For example, marriages in which there is abuse may need to end. A couple also might have been through counseling and other efforts to repair their relationship without success. It might be obvious to the children that there are serious problems in the relationship. Parental stress as a result of these problems may also cause stress for children. If parents are unable to hide conflict from their children, divorce might be the better option.

However, in some cases, couples may not have made enough of an effort yet to fix the marriage. They might also look at the costs of divorce and decide that the benefits of staying together outweigh them. While some might be financial, there are other costs to take into account as well including the effect on children. Parents must weigh this against their willingness to sacrifice a marriage.

If a decision is made to get a divorce, parents may want to work out a plan for shared child custody. Spending ample time with each parent may help children adjust to the divorce. Parents may also want to work out potential conflicts in their parental agreement. If the marriage has ended because of a reason like abuse, a parent may be concerned about the abusive parent's access to the child. If the case goes to litigation, a court might decide the abusive parent should only have supervised visitation rights with the child.

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