The study, released last year, followed close to 7,000 families over the course of 15 years.
- The level of marital conflict in each relationship
- The perception of conflict by the children
- The conflict in the children's later adult relationships
The results were surprising: the children who were raised in high-conflict environments did better in their adult relationships if their parents had divorced. The researchers believe that it is exposure to their parents' constant conflict, not the divorce itself, which causes a child to have trouble in future relationships.
But what does the research mean for my divorce in Arizona?
Basically, the research implies that staying together "for the children" is probably more harmful in the long run than divorce if you are in a high-conflict marriage. Although kids do go through a "crisis period" for a year or two after the divorce, the study suggests that they bounce back and go on to have healthier adult relationships.
Not every divorce ends peacefully, unfortunately, and continued conflict between parents after the divorce may still affect children negatively. Strangely, the study also showed that, while children of happy couples did have healthy relationships in the long run, they did not have significantly happier adult relationships compared to the children of high-conflict couples.
Of course, one scientific study doesn't make the process of deciding whether or not to get divorced any easier. If you live in Arizona and you have questions about divorce and custody, schedule a FREE consultation with one of our qualified Phoenix divorce lawyers at 602-258-1000 or 888-929-5292. We will take your concerns seriously and be honest about what we can do to help. For further information, we also recommend that you read our book, Arizona Family Law - How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.