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How can a pediatrician help during child support negotiations?

When planning to divorce, most Massachusetts residents take care to select an attorney who can best represent their interests throughout the process. Some will also hire a financial advisor, and others will work with a counselor to process their emotional reaction to a divorce. For parents who are struggling through divorce and related stress over child custody and child support, the family pediatrician can also be a valuable part of the divorce team.

When parents divorce, kids are placed under a heightened level of stress. They may look and act just fine, wanting to avoid making things worse for their parents. In reality, however, they may be struggling and might need some help coming to terms with the changes in the family's structure.

Parents can get a better idea of how their kids are doing by working with the family pediatrician to assess each child's emotional health. Parents should schedule a wellness check-up appointment and let the physician know that the family is going through a divorce. That gives the doctor a chance to speak with the child about the changes at home and to assess whether additional services are needed.

If need be, the pediatrician can refer the family to a counselor, psychiatrist or other professional to help the child move through and beyond the divorce. Having that additional support can make it easier to weather the stress that comes along with altered living arrangements, debates over child custody and tensions that can arise during child support negotiations. All of those things can take a toll on kids, and giving them the love and support that they need is a top priority for Massachusetts parents who are divorcing.

Source: advertisernewssouth.com, "Pediatricians can help children through separation and divorce", Jan. 4, 2017

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