Family law: When kids’ parents fight

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

Marital separation and divorce doesn’t just affect the spouses. Children of the marriage can be equally — and often more so — affected by a breakup than the actual partners. Family law in Canada paves the way for parents to keep conflict to a minimum when the family is going through the effects of divorce. Children of divorce may already have many issues with which they’re grappling — where they’re going to live and with whom, for instance. When kids witness conflict between their parents, these stressors can be exacerbated. 

Divorce is bound to have an impact on most children. They may act out or display behaviours not shown before. They may act defensive and angry. These are relatively normal displays of the displeasure they feel about their parents’ split. Particular behaviours in parents have even more of a negative effect on their kids such as when they are aggressive or violent with each other, verbally abuse each other, and never let up with arguing or screaming at each other.

This kind of behaviour also affects children because the adults are not at their best when parenting if they’re constantly at odds with each other. Even in a divorce situation, individuals need to be mindful how their actions are affecting their kids. When parents agree that their children’s best interests should come first no matter what, displaying behaviours that cause stress in their kids may be lessened or stopped altogether.

An experienced lawyer in family law in Canada may be able to provide not only legal guidance when it comes to separation and divorce, but may be able to provide the name of a good family counsellor to help children deal with divorce. A compassionate lawyer may be able to answer his or her client’s questions about the tools family law provides that may help in the divorce process. Parents can’t have too much information when it comes to the mental health of their kids.

Source:, “Conflict Between Parents, Part 1: The Effect of Conflict on Children“, John-Paul Boyd, Accessed on March 11, 2018

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