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Child custody issues can pose emotional difficulties

Divorce is never really an easy process for those involved in Massachusetts. This is true for both the parents and the children, especially when the parents are struggling to see eye to eye on the issue of child custody. A few tips may help parents to help their children navigate the divorce process as effectively as possible from an emotional standpoint.

First, it can be helpful for the children to talk to somebody about how they feel. This somebody may be a parent, school counselor, therapist or friend at school. It is especially helpful for the children to open up to their parents about what they need from their parents to get better following the marital dissolution.

It also critical that the parents discourage the children from choosing sides -- in other words, choosing one parent over the other. In the same way, the parents may want to encourage the children not to feel as though they have to protect either parent. Furthermore, it would be beneficial for the parents themselves to communicate with each other rather than using their children as messengers or collaborators.

Even though divorce involving child custody in Massachusetts can be difficult emotionally, everyone in the family may be able to benefit from the parents' decision to go through divorce negotiation or mediation rather than going to trial. Traditional litigation can be much more time consuming and stressful than simply working out a parenting agreement without further court intrusion. In addition, mediation or negotiation gives the parents the skills they need to communicate with each other down the road when discussing matters pertaining to their children.

Source:, "Tips To Help Children Cope With Divorce", Gail Gross, March 22, 2017

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