Atlanta, GA- Too many parents stay unhappy marriages because they are afraid of putting their child through a divorce. They believe splitting up will be damaging to their children but find themselves getting into fights that become raucous and involve a lot of yelling. Parents may think divorcing is worse than the fights, but a new study contradicts that notion.

Recent Study Reveals the Damaging Effects of Parental Fights

In a recent study conducted by the University of York in the U.K., researchers found divorce isn’t as harmful to children as the fights. They surmise the split itself may not be the root of a child’s behavioral issues; the arguments children overhear are more damaging. The York study found that 30 percent of children whose parents fought during divorce developed behavioral issues.

Those behavioral issues can include having difficulties with peers, lack of success in the workplace and other emotional problems. Parental fighting is hard on children because they depend on their parents to make them feel safe but the arguments and yelling make them feel anxious and insecure.

Gloria Moroni, lead researcher, told the Daily Mail: “Inter-parental conflict may be even more harmful to a child’s development than parental dissolution itself.”

Hostile fights which can include things like name-calling, threatening to leave, and physical aggression can cause a child emotional harm, the Huffington Post reports.

He notes that hostile fighting, which includes tactics like name-calling, threatening to leave, being physically aggressive, becoming withdrawn, and even pretending to forgive when it’s obvious you haven’t, is what can harm a child emotionally.

The study began in 2000 and included 19,000 participants, the Daily Mail reports. Researchers were primarily concerned with understanding the connection between parental divorce and a child’s skills.

How to Protect Your Children

Staying in an unhappy marriage is unwise for everyone involved which the study above demonstrates, and if you decide to divorce, you should take steps to protect them from all the in-fighting and disagreements over child custody arrangement.

Don’t argue in front of your children

Don’t talk negatively about your estranged spouse

Get a third party to assist with child custody negotiations

Send your child to a psychologist or attend family therapy

There are numerous things you can do to make the divorce process easier on your child or children. A psychologist or school counselor can give some suggestions on how to deal with emotional issues, but you need to turn to a divorce lawyer to make the legal aspects of divorce easier on your child.

Hire a Divorce Lawyer in Atlanta

Divorce is painful for a couple, their children, the extended family, and friends. Estranged couples are encouraged to consult with a family law attorney in Georgia. USAttorneys can refer your case to a top-notch lawyer after you complete a short contact form.