Couples who engage in "frequent, intense, and poorly resolved" arguments could be hampering children's "long-term life chances", UK research has found.
More needs to be done to provide support for arguing parents, experts say after a British review concluded that conflicting couples could be putting their children at risk.
Couples who engage in "frequent, intense, and poorly resolved" arguments could be hampering children's "long-term life chances", the Early Intervention Foundation research found.
Youngsters who witness such conflict are also more likely to suffer from mental health problems and less likely to do well in school, according to the review.
The Early Intervention Foundation said despite these negative consequences, improving the relationships between parents was not taken account of in many services.
Professor Gordon Harold, of the University of Sussex, who carried out the review with the charity, said: "How parents relate to each other, whether parents are separated or together, represents one of the strongest influences on children's long-term mental health, wellbeing and future life chances."
Carey Oppenheim, EIF chief executive, said: "Our new research shows that quality inter-parental relationships - regardless of whether the couple is together or not - and the ability to resolve conflict have a huge influence on the long-term life chances of children. Yet, improving the relationships between parents is not taken account of in many children's, maternity and family services.
"Children of all ages can be affected by inter-parental conflict.
"More needs to be done to encourage couples to seek support and make services available to them.
"We urgently need to develop our knowledge of what types of services and interventions works to support inter-parental relationships in different contexts. This is vital to ensure we avoid missing a crucial piece of the jigsaw in improving children's mental health and future life chances."