When Kids Want Their Parents Divorced

October 01, 2018 /
Stay together for the kids.” That’s the common advice for married parents who are struggling. But thkids want their parents divorcedese days, more people are coming forward, sharing how they wish their parents would’ve gotten divorced sooner rather than later.

Of course, the percentage of children who want their parents divorced is a drop in the bucket compared to those who want their parents to stay together. But what about the children who want their parents divorced?

Now, I am in no way encouraging divorce. However, I think it’s very important to look at divorce from the child’s perspective, in certain situations.


I wish my parents would divorce.

In a 2010 interview of three sisters on Dr. Phil , they discussed how much they wanted their parents to get a divorce. They had witnessed their parents getting into physical altercation and uncomfortable verbal arguments; they had watched their father get arrested on a number of occasions. One sister even said, “I wish my parents would divorce now. It seems like there’s no hope for them any more.


Two young girls caught in a trap

I recently spoke to a young girl who’s been living with her grandmother for the last several years. Her and her older sister had watched their parents enter the drug world. They saw their parents fight constantly in between getting their next fix, and were always stuck in horrific situations. Yet, when their grandmother received full custody of them, they didn’t know it would be long term.

Their mother entered into rehab and when she was released, she was reunited with her husband. The girls were back in the same horrible situation. Their parents’ destructive behavior continued for years. Their daughters started to see just how toxic their parents were when they were together. It wasn’t until they were living in a stable home with their grandparents, that both of these girls realized just how much they wanted their parents to get divorced. They watched over and over as their parents were in and out of jail and rehab; always wondering if they’d be alive long enough to see them again.


When “staying together for the kids” may not work

Sadly, there are children all over the world experiencing these same kinds of situations. Whether it’s drugs; verbal or physical abuse; or unfaithfulness, “staying together for the kids” may not be the healthiest option for the ones involved.

Now, that’s not to say that seeking help isn’t an option. But what happens when seeking help doesn’t work, and staying together is harming the children or putting them in danger?

In extreme cases, it’s important to take a step back and look at the situation from the child’s perspective. They must be kept safe, mentally and physically. As a parent, our children come first. So, if the relationship we are in is becoming toxic, it’s time to ask the question, “Are we staying together for the kids because that’s what we are ‘supposed’ to do? Or is this relationship so toxic that it’s putting our children in danger?

I personally believe in fighting for marriage, but that takes both partners. If one or both partners are abusive, dangerous, unfaithful, or are using illicit drugs, then taking a legal action may be the best option.


Things to consider when considering divorce

Unfortunately, children are often caught in the middle, and are often too young or too scared to voice their opinion. As adults and parents, we need to be held accountable for our actions and know that we are affecting everyone around us more than we may realize.

In the end, the decision to either stay together or divorce is a very personal one. And the welfare of the child must be a top priority when considering that choice.

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Award Winning Authors

Dana and Don

Divorce Mediatiors and Marriage Experts


Divorce Mediators, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Divorce Coach, Divorce Preparation, Marriage Experts


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