Making the decision to get divorced is never easy. And adding kids to the mix makes it even worse. While some parents get divorced when the marriage becomes troublesome, other parents decide to stick the relationship out until the kids are old enough and custody is no longer an issue.
If you have kids and are contemplating divorce, you may be questioning whether you should get divorced now or wait until your kids turn 18. The choice is ultimately up to you, but the following information may help you make up your mind.
If you get divorced now, your child may have to go to court.
If you and your soon-to-be-ex have children that are old enough to understand what is happening (the age varies from state to state), he or she may be old enough to tell the judge who they want to live with. Depending on their age and the severity of your custody battle, he or she may even be forced to choose between both parents and tell the court which parent they would rather live with. Before deciding on whether or not to get divorced, be sure to know whether or not your child will be forced to participate in the court proceedings and whether or not you will want to put them through that (as well as be able to live with the consequences if they don’t choose to live with you).
If you wait to get divorced, it could make you and your children miserable.
Although waiting to get divorced until your children are 18 may seem like a safer and less intrusive bet, it could actually be worse. After all, there is hope that you and your spouse could divorce amicably, leaving no resentment or forced court proceedings on your child. Plus, if you wait, your loveless marriage will eventually start to show. Your child will start to see that you’re unhappy, and it may even make you irritable and force you and your spouse to fight regularly. This is likely not the upbringing you desired for your child, so if you think your well-being and the well-being of your children will suffer if you put it off, then don’t.
If you get divorced now, or if you wait to get divorced, it will take time to heal.
If you are waiting to get divorced because you don’t want your child to be mad at you or resent you, it’s important to know that he or she will have some sort of strange feeling about your divorce no matter when it happens. Both children and adult children of divorce need time to process the information as well as time to heal. If you get divorced now, know that your child will eventually forgive you for the pain he or she may feel because of it. If you get divorced later, your child may still be upset with you, and it will still take time to heal the wound. Just remember that no matter when it happens, feelings will be hurt and hearts will be broken, no matter the child’s age.