More than 1 million children each year experience their parents’ divorce. For these children and their parents, this process can be emotionally traumatic from the beginning of parental disagreement and rancor, through the divorce, and often for many years thereafter. Pediatricians are encouraged to be aware of behavioral changes in their patients that might be signals of family dysfunction so they can help parents and children understand and deal more positively with the issue. Age-appropriate explanation and counseling is important so children realize that they are not the cause of, and cannot be the cure for, the divorce. Pediatricians can offer families guidance in dealing with their children through the troubled time as well as appropriate lists of reading material and, if indicated, can refer them to professionals with expertise in the emotional, social, and legal aspects of divorce and its aftermath.

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