Divorce harms! That is undisputed, to what extent and to what degree is the question we have set out to examine? The research that has been carried out, has been critiqued for biased ness in sampling and later interpretation of data. Most researchers have determined that children of divorce have difficulty forming relationship of their own, are more likely to divorce themselves, are more prone to depression, become less religious and have reduced educational and financial attainment. In short the overall effect is proclaimed to be negative. There are most positive aspects out of divorce especially when there is no alternative option? We will examine these issues in detail and also see what sort of option does parents in conflict have and with what implications.
The sanctity of marriage as an institution may be open to question as increasing number of children are either being reared by single parent, or being forced with a single parent because of non marital childhood. Children may have an unquestioned right to parental support, be it emotional, psychological or financial - children of separated parents still have these needs and separation creates an indeterminable void that may sustain beyond childhood. Judith (1994) believes that women and men have fundamentally different behaviors vis-à-vis marriage child bearing and care of children. Women normally take care of children; take responsibility for them, in spite or despite their existent or future relationships. Men on the other hand, Judith believes, have usually relationship with children of partners they are cohabiting with - this relationship may shear off with partner dissolution. This removal of paternal link may have severe emotional consequences for younger children. The quantum and magnitude of effects has been questioned by various researchers citing lack of evidence or partiality of evidence, yet the negativity of effects has been acknowledged (Judith, 1994).
There is an increased tendency (almost twice with children from intact marriages) to drop out from school amongst single parent's children. Children from broken up homes are shuttled between two entities for custodial rights - those living with their mother are disadvantaged in terms of access to material resources, however research shows that girls living their mother are better adjusted socially than boys living with their mother, further children living with their mother may have reduced financial resources, as family income has been cut and generally women earn less than men. Although happiness does not require money, yet without money - adequate food and living space happiness is again difficult to come by. Although child support payments are mandated by law, these payments are not consistent and adequate and as time pass these payments decrease even further.
Conflict between parents affects children both directly and indirectly, as parents may be preoccupied with their own problems and later after the separation, the single parent may be too traumatized to offer solace to the child. There is also evidence that conflict that predates divorce may have negative bearing on children from the earlier time and may continue after the separation. Children's emotional security is thus affected both prior to divorce and afterwards when out of selfish love each partner exaggerates interest in child welfare augmenting the strain on poor child.