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Divorce can bring substantial pain to children

A child who watches parents go through the process of divorce often has their world turned upside down. Their future becomes uncertain. Where they will live, whom they will spend Christmas with and what school they will attend, may all change. This uncertainty brings much stress to a child and can affect their day-to-day wellbeing.

A recent British study finds that many parents are in denial that their children have difficulties coping with divorce. The study found that four out of five parents believed their children coped well with the divorce. Only one third of those children reported coping well. This disconnect demonstrates that more must be done to help children as they go through this difficult process.

The study also found that more than a third of children felt like one parent was trying to turn them against the other. A child does not understand these behaviors. Many children know and love both parents and do not understand the adult issues at play. Being forced to hate one of those parents can be devastating for a child.

Children need support and understanding from their parents during this difficult time. They need stability and parents that do not badmouth each other, no matter how tempting doing so may be. Along with this emotional support, children need financial support. The financial support of both parents will help the child maintain a normal lifestyle. Without this support, children may go without many of their mental, emotional and physical needs being met.

Parents who go through a divorce in Massachusetts are able to petition the court if their current child support order is not fulfilling all of the child's needs. When there has been a substantial change in circumstances, a court may decide to increase or decrease the amount of support owed.

Source: Arizona Daily Star, "Divorce hurts kids and the pain can last a lifetime," Marilyn Heins, Nov. 22, 2014

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