Divorce is typically seen as a bad thing. We do not know of any of our Oklahoma divorce clients who married with the intention of obtaining a divorce. We know divorce can have harmful psychological effects on children. Nevertheless, let us step back a moment, and examine what we mean when we say, “divorce is bad.”
It is not the legal document that separates a former couple that is harmful. It is just a piece of paper. A divorce becomes necessary when two people can no longer live together. Sometimes, they have grown apart and recognize they have little in common, and while not enemies, they no longer see the point of “pretending” to be married.
Other times, a relationship has grown so toxic that neither party can stand the sight of the other. And there is every graduation between those two extremes. What is harmful for children is when they bear the emotional strain of the battles being waged by their parents.
The important element to remember is it is not the legal proceeding that produces the pyrrhic behavior by the couple; it is the decay in their relationship. A toxic marriage is damaging for children, and in those cases, a divorce may lead to a significant improvement in the psychological well being of the children.
One can have a “bad” marriage and a “good” divorce. How well a divorce works is dependent on how well the couple can move on, and focus on the importance of providing as positive an experience as possible for their children after the divorce.