Parents who remain friendly following their divorce may not raise more well-adjusted children than those whose divorce was bitter, a recent study suggests.
It has been a commonly held belief that if parents continue to argue after getting divorced, it will adversely affect their children, so the best course of action is to remain cordial.
A study published by the academic journal Family Relations suggests that children of divorce suffer regardless of how their parents get on afterwards.
The suffering can manifest as depression, anxiety, drug abuse or behaviour problems. Children of divorce were also found to be more likely to struggle in school. This appears to support an earlier study which claimed children of divorce were more likely to be overweight.
Despite the findings, researchers said the results should reassure parents. They said that parents failing to establish a friendly relationship with their former spouse will not result in increased damage done to their children.
The study examined 270 parents who got divorced between 1998 and 2004 in the United States.
Under English law, the welfare of children is the paramount concern in divorce proceedings. Therefore, it is not surprising there have been so many studies examining the impact of divorce on children. Earlier this year, mothering website Netmums carried out surveys which indicated that parents do not fully realise the impact divorce has on their children.