The vast majority of Arizona parents love their children more than anything in the world. When a marriage ends, working through the details of child custody and visitation can be one of the most difficult challenges that a parent will ever face. Navigating those tricky waters can be hard, and parents should take advantage of every available resource in getting through that process. The family pediatrician is an often overlooked yet incredibly valuable source of information and support.
During the early stages of divorce, parents should schedule an annual physical exam for each of their children. Prior to that appointment, parents should speak with the pediatrician to discuss the changing family dynamic. That provides the physician with the information needed to screen for any adjustment issues that a child may be having related to the divorce.
The pediatrician is able to act as an impartial and objective observer. He or she can assess a child and help determine if additional services are needed. In some cases, children can benefit from working with a therapist, psychiatrist or social worker during the course of a divorce and child custody case.
The family pediatrician can play a valuable role by providing an objective perspective on issues related to divorce and child custody. Many Arizona parents fail to acknowledge the role that their child's physician can play. This information is offered in the hopes of encouraging parents to reach out and tap into all available resources during and after a divorce changes the structure of the family.
Source: aapublications.org, "Parting ways: New report on divorce addresses pediatricians' role", Ruben J. Rucoba, Nov. 28, 2016