There is a misconception about divorce that has always irked me a lil' bit.
Divorce is hard. It tries your patience, breaks your heart, raises your blood-pressure, and tests your friendships. It's a heart-wrenching decision that doesn't come easy, no matter your situation.
Having children doesn't make divorce more difficult. Different, yes - but not more difficult.
I got divorced with no children - and I struggled with the choice. Personally, I think how you handle divorce has a lot to do with who you are - not your circumstances. Whether you have kids or not, it still sucks to feel like a failure. It hurts to know you let someone down, or wonder if you should have tried harder. It's still really tough on your self-esteem.
When I told people I was separating, the reaction I got more than any other was, "At least there are no children involved." As if that was supposed to make me feel better. I never planned to have children. My marriage was my life - and it was over.
How could anything make that easier?
Kids are absolutely affected by a divorce - just like they're affected by any change in the family dynamic. Often, the marriage (or at least some sort of relationship) existed before the child. If the couple stays together, then the marriage outlasts the childhood.
The parent-child relationship is totally separate from the marital relationship.
Yes, having kids adds an element to a divorce. So does owning property together, or a business. So does a prenuptial agreement.
If two people aren't handling a divorce well, something as simple as owning a china pattern can complicate matters.
Of course, kids are affected by the divorce - but good parents will keep that to a minimum. If two people are willing to put their kids in the middle of a divorce, then guess what? That kid wasn't having a great childhood anyway, married parents or not.
Every divorce is different. I know people who have separated after 9 months of marriage - and others after 30 years. Kids or no kids - nothing makes divorce easier.