For parents getting divorced, often the most important and difficult thing to decide is what to do about the children. Sharing child custody means not getting to see your kids part of the time, but giving sole custody to one parent, with visitation rights to the other, can put a large burden on the custodial parent, and severely restrict the relationship the other parent has with his or her kids.
It has been a couple of weeks since we last discussed how children experience their parents' divorce. In that post, a woman wrote that going through this experience actually made her a better person in the long run.
Though Missouri's family law has changed in many ways to adapt to our evolving ideas of what a family is, in some ways the law remains behind the times. In one important example, a man is presumed to be the father of a child if the child was born to his or her "natural mother" while the man was married to the mother, or within 300 days of the end of the marriage.
One of the most important things you can do as a parent going through divorce is to avoid putting your children in the middle. No matter how you feel about your ex right now, he or she is your kids' other parent. When possible, children generally do better when both parents remain a source of love, affection, discipline and support for them -- even when the parents are no longer together.