Emotions can run high during a divorce, but those unchecked emotions can impact children for the longterm in a variety of ways. Family Justice Advocates In Action advocates for a civil divorce. The nonprofit asked our divorce psychologist Miguel Alvarez what is the impact on children if their parents choose not to be be civil during a divorce. Dr. Alvarez explains that bad behavior by the parents can result in their children modeling their behavior when the children deal with conflict in their own lives. Developmental psychologist have demonstrated through numerous studies that children learn by imitating their parents. Children imitate both positive and negative behavior by their parents. Dr. Alvarez says negative examples can be detrimental to the child's development as well as lead to bad behavior.