Helping Children Cope with Divorce

This information is useful for children
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Much of the philosophy behind today's custody laws was shaped by our former director.
  • We treat mental and emotional health issues children may experience when their parents divorce.
  • We are committed to treating the “whole child," with the family at the center.

About half of children in the United States will experience the divorce of their parents. Few, if any, welcome the news but, according to family and divorce specialist Barbara Nordhaus, MSW, a licensed clinical social worker in the Yale Medicine Child Study Center and an assistant clinical professor in the Child Study Center, the breakup of parents doesn’t have to be catastrophic for children. 

While divorce is a loss, she says, it can bring positive changes to a family when handled well. “If parents can work together for the best interests of their children, divorce can provide relief and optimism and the potential for growth for everyone—children too,” Nordhaus says. “Most parents I meet want to have a divorce they can feel good about.”

Our experts have made significant contributions to knowledge and awareness of the needs of children in divorcing families locally and nationally. Plus, we offer expertise and resources in treating other mental and emotional health issues that children might experience when their parents divorce. 

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