Determining ‘What’s Best for the Children?’ Sometimes Complicated

written by Fred Campos

[W]hat is best for the children?” We ask that question constantly, regardless of the situation. Here we talk mostly about divorcing parents and how Dads can get child custody. We also consider those times where maybe, just maybe, the parents can reconcile their differences, patch up conflicts, and put many of their not seeing-eye-to-eye moments behind them, and reestablish the family unit.

But what if that’s not possible? What if all the discussions, counseling, attempts at marital reconciling don’t produce the desired results? What then?

“What is best for the children?”

Many couples, probably more than we think, would simply work around the issues, perhaps calling a truce or simply opting not to deal with the serious issues so that their problems at least don’t surface where others and especially the children, can see. So these ‘truce’ couples decide to stick it out for a while, because well, it’s best for the children.

But is it?

Sometimes, the answer is easy. If there’s verbal or physical abuse, alcohol or some other type drug abuse, neglect, disrespect to the spouse (and that can go both ways), or some other type of blatant disregard to the family, then the answer is almost certainly to split.

For many divorcing couples, however, a divorce isn’t so easy. If you aren’t getting along, or if you are just tense around each other, then the “What’s best for the children?” gets more complicated. For many, the truces, standoffish attitudes and unspoken problems result in uncomfortable boundaries, but they might try these to keep the family together—if only until the children are gone. (This is certainly my recommendation, Delay Divorce Until the Kids are Grown.)

Delay the Divorce Until the Kids are Grown

Sometimes these awkward relationships work. We’ve all seen couples who, after the kids are grown, surprise both friends and family alike (maybe even the couples’ adult children), by announcing they are divorcing.

Sure, the family still experiences emotional trauma, and shock of such an outcome, but at least they got through the ‘child-stage’ of their relationship, and in many cases, that might have passed the ‘What’s best for the children’ test.

Click to have a permanent advertisement in this post.

How do you feel about staying married for the kids? Do you think this is a good suggestion?

Images from



  1. DivorceForce

    Great article. Kids ALWAYS come first. Thanks for sharing!

    • FullCustodyDad

      Thanks DivorceForce! It’s always about the kids. (eMail me offline, let’s see how we can work together.) – @FullCustodyDad


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.