I think that we've all been told in one way or another that separation and divorce will "mess up" your kids. This message gets played over and over again in movies and television shows. It's a cultural message. But, it's not true.
The research is clear ... conflict between parents is what has the biggest affect on kids long-term outcomes. Dr. Afifi outlines the research really succinctly in this short TEDx talk.
I share it with my clients, because I think it's really positive and hopeful. Your choices are what dictates your children's future; giving you full control to make this transition a positive one for your children.
In mediation, we always work a little bit on coming up with some plans around making this happen. How can co-parents communicate above the kids, so that they're not feeling conflict and animosity and they're not put in the middle. This type of planning gives you a good foundation to work from so that you're kids can just be kids!