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Child custody can be sticking point during divorce

The process of divorce can cause stress not just for Montana parents but also for their children. This is especially true if child custody is a sticking point for the parents. New research, however, indicates that people within the community, such as therapists and the children's pediatricians, may help the children to manage the tough transition that comes with divorce.

According to the research, children might experience several behavioral changes due to the dissolution of their parents' marriage. The children's reactions might involve poor academic performance, anxiety or even their blaming themselves for their parents' divorce. These potential reactions depend on a variety of factors, such as the parents' psychological functioning, the age of the children and the circumstances surrounding the divorce.

Since parents' psychological functioning does have an impact on the ability of children to cope with divorce, it makes good sense for parents who are going through divorce to ensure that they can deal with their own divorce-related emotions. For instance, they may need to speak with a pastor about their situation, get involved in a support group for divorced individuals or engage in talk therapy. In the end, these option may enable them to offer more support to the children.  

During the past few years, about 800,000 divorces have taken place in the United States and have affected nearly a million children per year. Even if the children's ability to adjust to their new situation improves over the couple of years following the divorce, they may still experience a sense of loss during birthdays or holidays for many years following the marital dissolution. Proper legal guidance may help Montana parents to work toward a resolution that reflects both parents' wishes when it comes to child custody and visitation while placing the best interests of the children in the forefront.

Source: livescience.com, "How to Talk to Kids About Divorce", Agata Blaszczak-Boxe, Nov. 28, 2016

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