"If there has been lots of conflict in the marriage, the children actually do better if there is a divorce, reports University of Nebraska sociologist Paul Amato, Ph.D., who has followed 2,000 families for nearly two decades. He has seen the offspring of these families into their own young adulthood, and found that the kids of high-conflict divorce are just as happy and do just as well as peers who grew up In intact homes.
Those hardest hit by divorce, he says, are the chidren of marriages in which there were not high levels of hostility before a break-up. The husband and wife just drift along and the kids don't notice anything's missing.
"The dissolution of a home that they thought was stable is an unwelcome and disturbing event in the lives of these offspring," Amato reports in A Generation at Risk (Harvard).