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How a pediatrician can assist Florida parents during divorce

When a family is going through a divorce, one of the earliest steps involves amassing one's divorce team. Spouses select their attorneys, look for financial advisors, interview real estate agents and consider various other professional services. One valuable resource that many Florida parents overlook, however, is their child's pediatrician.

A pediatrician can play an important role for families who are going through divorce. As a professional, objective party, a child's pediatrician can help the family navigate the divorce process. The first step is to contact the pediatrician and discuss the changing family dynamics before setting up an appointment for each child.

Once the pediatrician is aware that the family is going through a divorce, he or she is able to evaluate the child and determine any necessary interventions. In many cases, children are more willing to discuss their thoughts and feelings with a trusted adult who is not a parent. If they have known the pediatrician for many years and have had past positive experiences with their doctor, it may be helpful to schedule an appointment for an annual physical and emotional "checkup."

If the pediatrician determines that a child is struggling to come to terms with the divorce, he or she can recommend additional services as needed. Pediatricians develop vast professional networks with other care providers, and can direct families toward counselors, psychiatrists or social workers who can assist. For those in Florida who are in the early stages of a divorce, including the family pediatrician may be a wise move.

Source: aapublications.org, "Parting ways: New report on divorce addresses pediatricians' role", Ruben J. Rucoba, Nov. 28, 2016

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