Why a child’s relationship with both parents is important

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Thursday, March 8, 2018.

When Missouri parents get a divorce, they might wonder how they can address the best interests of their children. Some parents might feel it is best if the child lives with them, but in most cases, it is helpful if each parent tries to facilitate the child’s relationship with the other parent.

In some cases, this could mean taking extra steps to maintain a relationship when the other parent has done something to make that relationship more difficult. For example, one custodial parent moved 80 miles away from the noncustodial parent. While the custodial parent had good reasons for doing so, this made it much harder for the child to maintain a relationship with the noncustodial parent. At one point, the custodial parent did not have a car to drive the child to visitation. Fortunately, the noncustodial parent had the resources to make the extra effort to keep seeing the child. The custodial parent eventually moved back to be closer to the noncustodial parent even though this mean leaving behind a home and having to pay rent on an expensive apartment.

In general, even a mediocre parent is better than one who is not there at all. As long as a parent keeps a child safe and is loving, it is better for the child to spend time regularly with that parent after a divorce.

Making decisions about child custody can be one of the most painful parts of a divorce. Parents may not want to think about seeing less of their children, and one may truly believe the other is not very good at parenting. However, in the absence of abuse or neglect, if parents can negotiate a child custody agreement and make an effort to reduce or avoid conflict instead of going into a child custody battle, this may be better for their children.

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