On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Divorce on Wednesday, November 27, 2019.

When people in Missouri decide to divorce, it can be challenging to shift to a co-parenting relationship. Many divorcing spouses have serious interpersonal conflicts, but extensive time with both parents is seen as best for child development, absent a situation of neglect or abuse. Shared custody is more common than ever as many fathers actively pursue time with their children and an important role in their kids’ daily lives. Research shows that children have higher self-esteem and better mental health as adults if they had equal time with both of their parents after a divorce.

Developing a parenting plan is an important part of resolving child custody issues. When parents share legal and physical custody, they will need to communicate with each other on a regular basis, even if they had an acrimonious time toward the end of the marriage. Both parents may need to develop strategies to help keep the parenting schedule in place, and communication is key. Flexibility when necessary can help to preserve a positive environment for the children, and it is good for the kids to see both parents working together to support them even if they cannot get along with each other in different contexts.

Young children often benefit from stability, especially after all of the changes that come with a divorce. While shifting from home to home may seem chaotic at first, following a regular schedule can quickly lead to a strong feeling of a stable schedule. It may be best for parents to agree together on certain guidelines, such as common bedtimes or academic expectations.

Moving to co-parenting might be a challenging task for parents, but the benefits to the children can be highly rewarding. A family law attorney may help a divorcing parent negotiate a fair child custody arrangement that puts the kids first.