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Parents hold the key to helping a child through divorce

Every adult can likely think back to when they were a child and the many challenges that accompany the growing-up process. For any child, it's normal to worry and stress about making friends, doing well in school and fitting in. When a child is also concerned about the state of their parents' marriage and ongoing conflicts at home, it's bound to have a negative impact on a child's mental and emotional wellbeing.

In cases where parents decide to divorce, a child can benefit from no longer being subjected to daily fights and the general feelings of unrest and unhappiness that often dominate the homes of unhappily married couples. However, with divorce, come additional issues and feelings that, if not discussed and worked through, may result in a child suffering long-term psychological and emotional pain and trauma.

Even in cases where a divorce is truly the best possible solution for everyone in a family, a child is likely to experience some amount of difficulty coping with all of the changes that accompany the divorce process. In addition to general feelings of confusion and sadness about the divorce, a child may also develop problems with general depression and anxiety.

While research indicates that these types of feelings and mental conditions are normal and even healthy responses for children who are dealing with divorce, it's important that parents provide the love and support a child needs to work through these issues and adjust to a new family structure. In addition to talking about a divorce and a child's fears and concerns related thereto, parents must also work to ensure that they don't speak ill of one another and are supportive of a child's relationship with each other.

For the benefit of everyone involved, families that are dealing with divorce and child custody and visitation disputes would be wise to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney who can assist in ensuring a child's best interests are respected and that disputes are resolved as quickly as possible.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "Minding the Kids in Divorce: Minimizing the Mental Health Impact: New research finds silver lining in kids’ resilience, but experts emphasize vigilance," Michael O. Schroeder, Jan. 19, 2016

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