Separation anxiety can make child custody cases difficult

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Child Custody on Thursday, February 12, 2015.

Parents who are going through a divorce often notice little changes in their children as the process moves forward. One of the things that some parents might notice is separation anxiety in children. Because divorce is a scary time for children, especially younger children, it is vital that parents know how to handle separation anxiety. It is important for our Florida readers to know that some level of separation anxiety is normal in children; however, this is only the case for younger children.

As you and your child’s other parent start to introduce your child to a parenting time schedule, it is easy for the child to become confused or anxious. A child who is accustomed to having both parents in the home might find the sudden upheaval unsettling. Intense separation anxiety can hinder a child’s life. If that occurs as you go through the child custody changes that are common with a divorce, you should take steps to calm your child.

One way that you can help your child is to develop a ritual for times when he or she is going to the other parent’s home. This might help the child to adjust to the change a little easier. When the child is at your home, you can practice this ritual by using it when you leave your child for a short period of time with another caregiver. Soon, the child should associate that ritual with you leaving and then feel confident that you will come back.

Another way you can make the transition easier is to give your child a bit of familiarity. A familiar object, such as a lovey, can help your child to feel more secure.

It is always important to consider your child’s needs when you are going through a child custody case. Making sure that your child benefits from the custody arrangement can help you to feel more at ease with the arrangement.

Source:, “Separation Anxiety in Children” accessed Feb. 12, 2015