By Nathalie Boutet
If you are reading this article, your family is probably in crisis and you want help. Maybe you want to stop the divorce of your parents that you fear is coming. There is hope.
I know that even with the best of intentions, the process of parents divorcing often leads to the children suffering. The negative effects of divorce on children have been well documented: children suffer before, during, and after the separation.
These negative effects of divorce on children usually start well before their parents actually separate, when things start changing around the home. What parents divorcing sometimes don’t consider is that the start of the legal separation process may be the most stressful period for children.
Unfortunately, divorcing in Ontario does not necessarily provide the relief that many parents are desperately looking for. Divorcing in Ontario does not at all guarantee happiness to the parents divorcing – nor to their children. Statistics show that the rate of divorce of second marriages is 50% higher than the rate of divorce of first marriages!
That means that people are even more likely to end their second marriage than their first. So then, what can you do to stop the divorce?
If you are brave enough to talk to your parents about the risks of separating, you may also want to encourage them to access the family support services available to parents who are struggling or divorcing in Ontario.
They might be more willing to take such a suggestion if it comes from someone they care about.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all of these types of services are the same. There are many types of family support services and they are sometimes very different in how they work. Look for those that describe an approach that is outcome-based.
“Outcome-based” is when the people in the program (your parents) have a clear picture of what they will have accomplished by the end of the program or service. In my experience many family support services do not provide outcome-based services.
If you are worried about your parents divorcing and you want to stop the divorce there are things you can do to help. Talk to your parents. Tell them how you feel. Encourage them to find the guidance they need from an outcome-based program to resolve their relationship issues before they take the drastic step of ending their marriage.