Is there ever a "good divorce"?
20 February 2012
Professor Patrick Parkinson AM says the evidence has been mounting for years that for many children a ''good divorce'' is not necessarily better than an unhappy marriage.
Commenting on new research by Professor Paul Amato from the University of Pennsylvania, which stipulates that children always suffer after divorce, Professor Parkinson says there is little doubt that a ''good'' divorce is still better than a ''bad'' divorce - the trouble is that at the time parents separate, neither may know how their divorce will turn out.
"If children escape from a marital war zone involving serious ongoing conflict, and especially recurrent violence, then they are likely to be better off after the divorce.
"However, many parents separate because one or both are deeply dissatisfied with the relationship, even though conflict is limited and the family home provides a happy environment for the children.
"Paul Amato's new research is confronting.
"He and his team finds that often, children are negatively affected in the long-term even by ''amicable'' divorces, and not much better off than children in much less amicable divorces.
"It is almost inevitable that children will experience some loss, emotionally and financially, from a parental separation.
"Children often report missing the non-resident parent (usually fathers).
"In making the decision to separate, we cannot assume that the children will be all right as long as it is a ''good divorce."
Contact: Greg Sherington
Phone: +61 2 9351 0202