A study conducted by the University of Chicago and Georgetown University revealed that children whose parents divorce when they are between three and five years old are more likely to have to behavior problems than older children, such as middle school or adolescent children.
That divorce has an adverse impact on child development should come as a surprise to no one; considering the emotional and daily routine disruption of moving from a two parent household to a single parent household, there undoubtedly be a lasting impression left on a young child.
I assume that for the 3,492 children followed in the study, there were 3,492 families that would otherwise prefer not to be in their situation. The unfortunate aspect of the divorce is that there is never a “good time” to do it; by virtue of the divorce process both in the house and the courts, there will likely either be some negative repercussions on the parties and their children. However, for many of those families, the emotional and psychological damage may have occurred before anyone filed for divorce.
Whenever it comes to pass though, the best outcomes in divorces tend to be those in which the individuals involved can effectively co-parent their children and move past any personal animosity in favor of a consistent, unified front with the children. Succeeding in doing so will likely help to blunt some of the developmental impact divorce has on children.