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Making sure children of divorce get the help they need

A divorce can be filled with challenges. It is rare for couples who are parting ways to agree on everything. One issue that can be particularly difficult to handle is child custody.

In Connecticut, the best interests of the children are considered when determining child custody and visitation. However, because children are often a parent's first priority, sorting through custody matters can be emotional.

Even after custody matters are settled, parents need to be sure they are looking out for their children's best interests. Going back and forth between two homes can be challenging. Parents need to do all that they can to provide their children with a stable home-life. Parents may need outside help to do that.

A parenting program for divorced couples was developed by researchers at Arizona State University. Participation seems to have helped children of divorce. Specifically, the program appears to reduce behavioral and mental health problems as well as substance abuse problems. The program is now being offered for free for families in specific communities.

Couples going through a divorce may spend a lot of time considering how a divorce will affect them as individuals. However, parents must also consider how a divorce will affect their children. It can be extremely difficult for children to cope with a divorce. Parents need to be sure their children feel safe and secure.

One way to do that is to appropriately settle custody matters and set up a visitation schedule that benefits both children and parents. Working with an attorney experienced in handling family law matters is often best.

Source: Ahwatukee Foothills News, "ASU offers classes for recently divorced parents to improve children's well-being," Jan. 23, 2013

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