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Melissa A. Featherston

Missouri parents can strive to address visitation issues amicably

Common sense suggests that most Missouri parents who are engaged in the process of divorce want to proceed as amicably as possible, especially where their children are concerned.  Some data suggests that visitation issues, division of property and other pertinent decisions that either directly or indirectly involve children will be resolved in a more positive manner if both parents agree to keep the children's best interests in mind during negotiations. A recent article offered parents practical tips and advice.

The article stated that children sometimes experience their parents' divorce as a major upheaval and traumatic experience in their own lives. An extension educator from a university family development center stressed that adults need to put forth effort toward quality and consistency in parenting in order to create a positive experience for children and avoid negative long-term effects after divorce. The spokeswoman said that parents who remain in a perpetual state of discord and involve their children in their conflicts often cause potential problems for the mental health, future relationships and educational performance of their sons and daughters.

One pediatrician advises parents to keep things basic and avoid negative speech when informing children of impending lifestyle changes and details about a divorce. She also stated that parents should allow children to express their thoughts or ask questions regarding their parents' decisions. In addition, the doctor reminds parents that children will present different reactions according to their ages and stages of development.

Research suggests that parents who maintain a peaceful demeanor and strive to develop new family routines and enriching activities with their children, especially with regard to visitation issues and an ongoing parenting relationship, help children become resilient in the aftermath of divorce. Missouri parents who wish to seek advice pertaining to potential child custody arrangements or other issues that might arise during divorce proceedings may contact a legal professional with experience in family law. Doing so might aid those who wish to proceed with caution in order to help their children cope with upcoming changes in their families.

Source: dl-online.com, "Helping kids cope with parents' separation, divorce", Pamela Knudson, March 17, 2015

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