Sometimes, couples find themselves having issues in their marriage, and they just don’t feel like things are working. Rather than breaking up, though, they decide that maybe they should have a child.
Why do they make this choice? For some, all of their friends are having kids and they feel like that’s where they’re “supposed” to be in life. They decide that their marital issues are just because they’re falling behind. For others, they think that the act of parenting a child together will bring them closer. They’ll feel more like a family. That will eliminate their marital issues, they believe.
This doesn’t work, experts warn. Those marital issues still exist. Having a child may distract you from them, but it doesn’t eliminate them. Additionally, it’s stressful to be a parent, especially of an infant. If you were already stressed and having problems, adding more stress just makes things worse. Parents need to work as a team to succeed. If you’re having trouble doing that without a child, you’ll have trouble doing it with one.
What a child does do, though, is that he or she makes that eventual divorce more complex. You suddenly have to think about the custody schedule, your rights, your ex’s rights, the child’s best interests and how you’re going to co-parent after you split up. Moreover, while a divorce may be a clean break without kids, you and your ex are now forever linked once you have a child together.
If you are thinking about divorce at any stage in your relationship, be sure you carefully consider your options. A consultation with an attorney may help you sort things out.