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Expert advice for divorcing parents

One of the most difficult things an adult can go through is divorce. When that divorce involves children and a dispute over child custody, the experience can be emotionally arduous for the entire family.

A report published recently in the journal Pediatrics outlines a plan for parents going through divorce, urging them to "take the pulse on their own emotional state," get professional assistance if they need it, and then enlist the help of pediatricians and therapists for kids struggling with anxiety, guilt or behavioral issues.

Professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine Dr. Carol C. Weitzman is a co-author of the report. She says parents must first examine their own level of psychological functioning and get assistance with it if needed, so that they can offer better support to their children.

Forms of help include therapy, support groups or discussions with a pastor.

"The more a parent is feeling capable and OK, the more they are going to be able to meet their children's needs," Weitzman said.

When a parent is struggling with divorce-related emotions, it is "more difficult...to keep their children's needs front and center."

One way to keep kids front and center is to preserve their daily routines, though living arrangements might well undergo significant alterations. But kids need to feel secure, and routines with school, extracurricular activities, friends and family can help provide them with needed reassurance.

Parents want to protect their children's best interests at all times, and getting the help of trained professionals enables them to do that. An experienced family law attorney is one of many pros available to help you protect your kids and yourself as you go through your divorce.

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