Skip to Content
Call Us Today! 904-638-3134

Family Conflict More Harmful Than Divorce


Ruth Bettelheim, a psychotherapist, marriage and family counselor, and author, wrote an article in which she claims divorce isn't what's damaging to children-family conflict is. Bettelheim points out that multiple studies have shown that divorce and re-marriage do not harm a child's emotional or psychological well-being. What's most damaging to children is being exposed to parental or family conflict.

Bettelheim points to a study by E. Mavis Hetherington that found on all meaningful measures of success-social, economic, intellectual, and psychological-that adult children from divorced families were no worse off than children whose parents are still married. In her study, Hetherington writes that although adult children might look back at their parents' divorce as a painful or sad experience, they were still able to achieve success in young adulthood-finding a job, establishing a career, getting married, building a solid life, etc.

So what needs to change? Bettelheim says we need work on eliminating a legal system that breeds conflict. When the parties in a divorce or custody battle are pitted against each other, it's not a healthy environment for the children. Bettelheim says that children exposed to family conflict may suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, or have difficulty forming meaningful relationships.

Contact Us Today

When it comes down to it, Bettelheim is suggesting that parents need to make a better effort to resolve their cases without conflict. For more information about the benefits of an uncontested divorce, contact a Jacksonville divorce lawyer at Hutchinson Law today!