Kids of Birmingham Divorce May be Happier, New Study Shows

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Jul 15, 2011 | 0 Comments

A recent Wall Street Journal report states that new research hints that children of divorce may be happier in their step families than in their biological families.

Regardless of the new study, which flies in the face of previous research, divorce can affect children and parents in different ways. It can cause depression, loss of self esteem, financial woes, family conflicts and other problems. Birmingham Divorce Lawyers have encountered both contested divorce cases as well as collaborative divorces in Alabama. Our firm is prepared to handle any challenge regarding family law and are committed to helping your family through this challenging time.

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The Wall Street Journal cites a Pew Research Center study that suggests if divorced parents remarry, the kids' own marriages may benefit from the example of a second, happier union. Some 60 percent of children who grow up in step families say their marriages are closer compared to those of their own biological parents'. But the study also found that 42 percent of Americans who have at least one step-relative feel a stronger sense of obligation to their biological family.

Signs of the Times, though, says that the new study flies in the face of current marital statistics, which say that kids of a divorce are more likely to divorce and second marriages are more likely than first marriages to end in divorce.

Regardless of the effects on future generations, divorce can be difficult. Our lawyers are committed to helping our clients and their families recover from this process.

There are many things to consider when determining whether or not to get divorced. Not only should one spouse consider the financial implications and how the couple's assets will be split, but one should also think about custodial issues with the child or children.

In Alabama, courts recognize temporary custody, which happens upon filing for divorce, legal custody, which are decisions both parents make regarding the child or children's future, and physical custody, where the child or children will stay after the divorce is final. Alabama allows for joint custody, where both parents are able to participate equally in raising the children after a divorce.

Judges look for parents to show a cooperative attitude in dealing with their children during a divorce proceeding. And the court will take into consideration the fitness of a parent and other factors in making a decision that's in the best interests of the child.

Also keep in mind that if joint custody isn't entered, the other parent may be required to pay child support in a Birmingham divorce. How much is ordered to be paid is based on many factors, such as income, earning capacity and the child's needs.

Some tips from parenting.com about dealing with children in a second marriage:

-It's a second chance at success.
-Children can get attached to parental figures, so be sure the person is worthy.
-Group outings can be draining at the beginning, so stick to individual meetings.
-Discipline is a joint effort, but each of you has a different role.
-Patience can make a big difference.
-Blending families is a process, not an event.

Additional Resources:

Happier Marriages for Kids of Divorce? by Sue Shellenbarger, The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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