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Economy affecting marriage, divorce and parenting

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Divorce on Friday, November 2, 2012.

The global down economy, after damaging the financial well being of people and businesses around the world, is now affecting divorce in Chicago and everywhere else. While there is no hard statistical data to support this theory, marriage therapists and family law attorneys agree that it’s happening.

Both groups have discovered that a growing number of couples, previously planning to divorce, are postponing their decisions because of unsettling financial situations. Specifically, the housing crash and its depressed home values, compensation declines and high unemployment rates are causing couples to believe they simply cannot afford to divorce.

Unfortunately, all couples making these decisions are not lovingly reconciling. Many are simply adapting to continual unhappiness, learning to live with disappointment and frustration. As difficult as this is for couples, their children can be further damaged.

Children of distressed marriages suffer equally, whether their parents separate or choose to stay together for convenience. Sometimes parents who become house-mates instead of making clean separations confuse their children even more. However, young children sense that, although their parents may be financially dependent on each other, they have lost their former “emotional interdependence” that helped their relationship thrive.

While couples who are overly financially dependent on each other may be making a wise decision to temporarily postpone divorce, they should strongly consider the emotional well being of their children. As more couples decide to postpone or forego divorce, their children’s turmoil will grow, causing additional concern for therapists, clergy and school guidance counselors to address their issues.

Parents should take the time to offer their children loving attention, create a nurturing environment, implement family time rituals, and provide consistent reminders that they love–and will continue to love–them regardless of changes that happen in their life. However distressing a marriage may become or debilitating a financial situation couples may face, they must remember they are parents first, potential divorced people second.

Do you agree with the focus on parenting first? Do you have any suggestions for couples contemplating or postponing divorce to better help their children enjoy a loving quality of life?

Source: Huffington Post, “Marriage, Divorce And The Economy: No Excuse For Irresponsible Parenting,” Rosalind Sedacca, Oct. 22, 2012