Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C.

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How can I help my infant or toddler during a divorce?

Virginia parents who get divorced when their children are very young have a unique set of issues to be concerned about. While older kids can articulate their feelings or fears about a divorce and may even visibly act out, the effects of a divorce on babies or toddlers may be less apparent. However, that does not mean that the effect is actually any less.

According to Psychology Today, the younger the child is at the time of a divorce, the more vulnerable the child may actually be to emotional challenges as a result of the divorce. This is due in large part to the gap that can develop in relationship building with one or both parents. When both parents no longer live under the same roof, babies and toddlers may have less opportunity for essential bonding experiences such as soothing a fussy baby, rocking a child to sleep or snuggling during the sweet waking up time in the mornings.

Preschool-aged children may be more prone to depression, lack of joy in life and playing and may even begin to take on responsibility for their parents' divorces. It is important for parents to support positive relationship development for their children with both parents in order to counteract the strong potential for these things to happen. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to be a helpful overview for Virginia parents with very young children learn how to work with a former partner for the good of their joint children.

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