Berman & Asbel, LLP

How parents can reduce strain on children during a divorce

When parents in Pennsylvania decide to divorce, concerns about the well-being of their children naturally emerge. Research recently published in the journal Pediatrics shows how parents may be able to aid children during the difficult transition period.

According to researchers, behavioral changes could affect children during a parental breakup. Emotions such as anxiety and self-blame could cause school performance to drop. The emotional and psychological state of the parents can also significantly influence the children during a divorce. Experts advise parents to manage their feelings in order to limit their impact on children. Therapy, counseling or support group attendance could be appropriate in some situations.

Techniques to help children feel secure include keeping the normal routine intact as much as possible. Limiting changes to schools or extracurricular activities could lessen the stress for children. Parents should also clearly state that they love their children.

Every year, approximately 800,000 divorces change the lives of close to 1 million children. Each divorce will require the parents to develop a custody schedule and co-parenting plan that addresses issues like schooling, religion and how to handle holidays, vacations and birthdays. A person could seek out the services of a family law attorney for advice and help with these tasks.

An attorney could inform a client about parental rights, legal guidelines for calculating child support and how to distinguish marital property from non-marital property. From filing court papers to conducting negotiations with the ex-spouse, the lawyer could help relieve the client of administrative and emotional burdens. If the other party contests the proposed divorce terms, then the attorney could also prepare documentation to support the client's goals in court.

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