Missouri parents who get a divorce may feel as though they are struggling to do the right thing for their children. However, while divorce can be hard on children, parents can work together to make it easier for them.
Children need to feel free to maintain a normal relationship with both parents. This means being able to express both love for and frustration with one parent to the other without worrying about how that parent will react. Parents should be able to help their children navigate their relationship with the other parent and remain neutral. If possible, parents should try to spend holidays together. If they cannot do this, they should at least both try to be at events for the children that cannot be held twice. Eventually, there will be occasions such as a graduation that parents will have to attend at the same time. Children should never feel as though they have to choose between their parents.
They also should not feel as though they were responsible for the divorce in any way. If parent are able to reach an agreement to keep household rules consistent, this can strengthen a child’s sense of stability. This can present a challenge for parents who disagree on most things, but focusing on the best interests of the child may help.
A custody battle is not an inevitable step in a divorce. More often, parents are able to negotiate an agreement for child custody, visitation and support with the assistance of their lawyers. Older children might want the opportunity to express a preference as well. If the children are young at the time of the divorce, the custody agreement may need to be modified more than once over the years as children’s needs change.