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You're Not Helping Your Children by Staying in Your Broken Marriage

NEW YORK: Val Kleyman, Esq., the New York divorce lawyer and founder of the Kleyman Law Firm, announced that parents are not helping their children by staying in broken marriages.

Commonly, spouses on the verge of divorce believe that it is in the best interests of the children to remain married, says Kleyman, but, unfortunately, staying in an unhealthy relationship tends to be more emotionally detrimental to the children than splitting up at the early signs of trouble.

The choice to stay married is justified any number of (understandable) ways parents don't want to disrupt the children's routine. They don't want to uproot them from the home they grew up in, nor do they wish to subject their children to a new norm of split holidays, two bedrooms, perhaps a new significant other playing the role as parent, and all the continued after effects which follow. The root of the choice to stay, however, is much deeper, and stems from the now antiquated idea that 'two parents living happily ever after under one roof' is the definition of a stable home.

Parents rightly see themselves as role models for their children, says Kleyman, and are concerned that their children will grow up with no faith in love, family, and relationships if they see their parents' relationship break up. The hardest question faced by parents in an unhappy marriage tends to be some variation of how do we tell the children? Instead of working to figure out the answer to this question, many parents choose not to, says divorce attorney Kleyman, so they remain in a lifeless and loveless marriage for many years, until the children are grown and out of the house.

Mr. Kleyman's many years of experience as a divorce attorney in New York has taught him that the impact of staying together for the children causes much more damage than parents realize. It can lead to resentment from the children - for not telling them the truth, and because they were raised with a skewed understanding of what a normal marriage is. Parents may even feel resentment towards the children for being the reason why they stayed married for so long.

Give your children a little credit, says Kleyman. Unless they are infants, they're perceptive enough to recognize that something is wrong. Even the most subtle nuances of acrimony affect them and will resonate in their lives, rendering them unable to distinguish between a healthy relationship and one that is not.

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You're Not Helping Your Children by Staying in Your Broken Marriage


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