If you are a parent separating from your spouse, you will probably have some concerns about your children. Research tells us that most children from divorced families manage to make the transition through their parents' divorce without long-term, negative consequences. By the time children from divorced families enter adulthood, there is little, if any, difference in the adjustment of young adults from divorced families as compared to young adults from married families.

We know that exposure to high conflict is detrimental to all children. One of the things that you can do to help your children is to choose a process for your divorce or separation that will not increase conflict between you and the other parent.

The following are some factors that will assist your children in a healthy adjustment to the new family situation:

  • A good quality parent-child relationship with a psychologically healthy parent is the greatest protective factor for children.
  • A secure attachment to both parents is important.
  • Insulating children from conflict is extremely important.
  • Consistent, quality contact with both parents, designed in a manner that meets the children's developmental needs.
  • Supports for the children outside the home helps everyone. This includes grandparents, friends, adult mentors, and community supports.
  • Personal attributes help children cope–social skills, temperament, competency and good self-esteem.