Sometimes, married couples who don’t have children think that having a child can save a troubled marriage. Whether or not a newborn can save a marriage is debatable, but it is a fact that children complicate matters in a divorce. Having a child when things are not going great is like doubling down on a poorly performing investment. It could pay off, or it could make a bad situation worse. Here are what marriage experts say about the perils of parenthood in an unstable marriage.
What do couples hope to gain?
When a marriage is falling apart, nothing brings people together like a new bundle of joy, right? Yes, and no. The initial joy of parenthood soon fades with mountains of diapers, sleepless nights and arguments over child care. The added stress can push an already fragile relationship into divorce.
How does a child complicate a divorce proceeding?
Children can complicate matters. There are custody issues, child support payments, visitation schedules and legal debates over what is in the best interest of the child. If things are complicated now, adding a child to the equation will not likely simplify them.
Consider the cost
Having a child should be all about the child, and what is best for their welfare and quality of life. Would the new addition be best served to live in an atmosphere of conflict and frustration? As one clinical psychologist says, “Kids don’t kill marriages; adults do.” One could also say, “A child can’t save a marriage; only adults can.”
If you have exhausted counseling, therapy and trial separation, then maybe it is time to consider divorce. Legal counsel that is experienced in divorce and family law in Maryland would be best equipped to advise you of your options. Statistically, “doubling-down” on a failing marriage may not save it, but it could complicate matters in a divorce.