Parental Conflict in the Home and the Potential Harm on Children

Family Law Blog

Parental Conflict in the Home and the Potential Harm on Children

November 29, 2019 | Divorce, Parenting (Child Custody)

Parental Conflict in the Home and the Potential Harm on Children

Dr. Laura Markham(@DrLauraMarkham), Ph.D in clinical psychology,         author of many books on parenting, and creator of,  was recently interviewed by Shane Parrish(@ShaneAParrish) on a podcast episode of the Knowledge Project where she was asked how relationship problems of parents effect their kids (at 49:10 of the episode). Dr. Markham said raisevoices in the house cause children’s blood pressure and adrenaline to increase, even for babies when they are asleep. Further, she said ongoing conflict and ongoing raised voices will cause children to become more anxious. Simply, Dr. Markham said conflict is not good for kids She says parents should resolve the conflict in front of the kids in order minimize the effect conflict can have on the children. 

Divorcing parents struggle to resolve conflict. For those divorcing parents who are living together, the likelihood of conflict in front of the children is high. Consequently, in this situation, the children are at risk. If divorcing parents cannot cohabitate in a relatively peaceful way, their children will suffer.

Because of this, Illinois law allows for one parent to petition the court to, essentially, “evict” the other parent from the home. This is called a Petition for Exclusive Possession of the home. If it can be proven that the parents’ cohabitation puts the child(ren)’s physical or mental health in danger, then a judge could order one spouse out of the house. However, divorce judges are generally reluctant to do this because it is a drastic measure, and they would prefer to let the parents figure out where they are going to live.  Therefore, a Petition for Exclusive Possession must be supported by specific facts which connect the conflict in the house to the negative impact on the growth and development of the child(ren). Otherwise, divorcing parents need to avoid conflict in the house. In a custody dispute, one parent may not want to leave the house because doing so would not be in his/her best interests. But it is usually not in the best interests of the children if parents live together during a divorce. 

The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been serving DuPage and Cook County residents for nearly 50 years. We have vast experience handling cases involving divorce. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced attorneys, please email us or call (630) 573-8585 to schedule a free consultation. 


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