/// 04/21/2010

In efforts to inform feuding couples of the effects a bystanding child experiences in witnessing fights, the Raleigh family law attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt present the findings of a study aimed at examining children’s responses to feuding parents.

North Carolina divorce lawyers report:

Science Daily reported on a 2008 study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester, Syracuse University and the University of Notre Dame that charted how children’s concerns over their parents’ relationship affected their abilities to pay attention in school. The study, “Children’s Insecure Representations of the Interparental Relationship and their School Adjustment: The Mediating Role of Attention Difficulties,” examined 216 predominantly white 6-year-olds, their parents and their teachers over a three-year period.

Teachers reported annually on the children’s ability to participate in class activities, get along with others and acclimate within the school setting in general. Teachers specifically were told to determine whether the children were cooperative with peers, followed directions, used classroom materials responsibly and acted in an overall appropriate manner.

According to reports, children who were concerned about their parents displayed more attention problems a year after the onset of stress was reported. These attention difficulties came hand-in-hand with teacher reports of adjustment issues in school.? Many cases found that children’s negative thoughts were based on witnessing actual relationship problems between parents.

Raleigh divorce lawyers of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt further report that other studies on the effects of feuding spouses on children found that the stress hormone cortisol elevated in all situations of strife, whether the negativity was heard over the phone or within the home. These realizations bring to light the importance of protecting children from feuding families and divorce. Sheltering a child from the negativity of spousal fighting is not only important for the child’s mental health, it is also important for the child’s educational and social wellbeing. Whether the fight is in the kitchen, over the phone or in the courtroom, the child is affected in a negative manner.

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that while the public still strongly believes the traditional 2-parent home is the best scenario for raising children, a divorce is the lesser of two evils when it comes to unhappy marriages. When given a scenario of very unhappily married parents, and then asked whether the children would better benefit from the parents remaining married or divorcing, 67 percent of adults surveyed stated a divorce would be better. Only 19 percent thought it a good idea to remain married.

While it is obvious to all Americans that the divorce rate is rising, what is not always obvious is the fact that a softer approach to separation could prove beneficial to all members of the family. As a parent would naturally want to shield a child from the backlash of in-home fighting, the parent should also realize in-court battles can prove detrimental to the child. When divorces go to court, the battle is not always friendly and tensions inevitably mount. Approaching a separation with mediation is a private way to handle your affairs.

Hiring family law attorneys to conduct mediation gives parents the opportunity to handle separation issues with referee-type counselors and attorneys, they handle it without the hassle of dragging children into court , forcing them to watch a he-said, she-said battle. Keeping children sheltered from the unnecessary stress of watching parents battle, whether in the home or in court, saves them from undue stress. Shielding children from excess levels of stress proves beneficial in the long run. It helps them deal with their every day lives at school and with surrounding peers. If you could prevent your child from experiencing undue stress, problems with concentration and difficulties with peer relationships, wouldn’t you do it?

North Carolina divorce lawyers Gailor, Wallis and Hunt, have dedicated their lives to helping men and women work through the divorce process, and are especially knowledgeable and ready to help in all areas of mediation. Divorce lawyers of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt have used their 80 plus combined years of family law litigation experience and their collaborative skills to help couples dissolve their marriages in as non adversarial a manner as possible so that they can move on with their lives. To contact the family law firm of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt, call 866-362-7586.

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