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HBO special gives final word on divorce to the children

Children in Marietta who are dealing with parents that are deciding to divorce likely have a hard time dealing with the transition. Divorce is not easy on parents and it certainly isn't any easier on the children.

However, a new documentary on HBO is shedding light on how children react, think about and deal with divorce, and gives Georgia parents insight into what they can do to help the situation. With the help of divorce experts and child psychologists, more than 24 children were able to express what they felt during a divorce process or in the aftermath.

One 12-year-old girl whose parents share child custody said she believes parents should make it easy to travel between houses and transfer items. In addition, making sure holiday breaks are split evenly before the holiday hits can be beneficial, as it keeps schedules organized.

A woman who has recently set up a service to communicate between divorced spouses said parents need to listen to their children more often and consider their needs in the midst of the divorce. A child of divorced parents herself, she said she learned what to do and what not to do during the time where she was forced into the role of the middle man by her parents.

One of the most common things that comes up in a divorce is forcing children to make important choices that will affect the rest of their lives. A chil psychologist said she has children tell her it is just as tough of a decision to decide which parent they want to live with as it is to share belongings.

More serious issues can affect children for years to come, which can impact their self-worth, ability to keep healthy adult relationships and the ability to succeed in a career or in education.

A 10-year-old girl also provided advice for parents regarding the initial announcement of the divorce. Parents, she said, should allow time for the children to absorb the information and provide information about the change at a steady pace. Telling everything at once can be overwhelming.

Source: USA Today, "When parents divorce, how NOT to treat the kids," Sharon Jayson, Sept. 21, 2012

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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