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Divorcing with a child: How early is too early?

You've always been close with your spouse, so when you found out that they had been sleeping with someone else, you were furious. It was like your friendship and marriage were shattered at the same time.

That break in trust eventually led to where you are today, considering a divorce. You want to leave and start fresh, because you don't think you can get over what happened and trust your spouse again.

It's not just you in this relationship, though. You have a young child. So, what do you do? Should you divorce, or is it better to stay where you are until your child grows up? Here are some things to consider.

Young children may not remember living together in the future

If you are divorcing with a child under the age of three in your home, then you should know that they may not remember the divorce. Although it could affect them, they might not retain memories of living together with both parents. In some ways, that's easier than waiting until your child is older and has fallen into a routine with both parents.

Young children are often affected by their parents' emotions. They know when people are anxious or angry. They know when something isn't right. Divorce could be healthy for you in this case, but remember that you will need to try to explain what's happening to your child in appropriate terms. They might not remember much in the future, but for now, they need your support.

Children may have behavior changes if you divorce

If you decide to divorce, your child could have some changes in behavior. It's normal for them to act out, since they may not be able to express their emotions fully. Some things they may do include:

  • Biting
  • Hitting
  • Having toileting accidents
  • Becoming upset when they're separated from either parent
  • Becoming fearful or anxious

These are normal reactions. Just because your child will possibly go through these now doesn't mean they'd be better off later. Older children also have issues to deal with during divorce, so there's no way to say when the best time really is.

At the end of the day, the time when you should divorce is when you feel that your relationship has become unhealthy or is not working for you anymore. Your child will adjust to the changes so long as you and the other parent continue to work together to support them.

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