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Melissa A. Featherston

Keeping kids out of a child custody dispute

When parents divorce, it is normal to have disagreements over parenting time, living arrangements and finances. While this is a stressful time for even the most amicable of divorcing couples, Missouri parents know that it is better for the kids if they can be protected from the tension and stress. One of the easiest ways to protect the emotional well-being of the kids is to refrain from speaking ill of the other parent, even in the midst of a child custody dispute. 

During a divorce, it is easy to lose sight of the long-term benefits of certain decisions. For example, Missouri parents may be tempted to fight over their kids' possessions, namely which parent will house valuable items, but that can be stressful for the kids and unnecessarily lengthen the divorce process. As hard as it may be for certain couples, children always benefit when the parents strive for a peaceful custody situation.

It is important to note that while it is a normal reaction, particularly for those who have been through a difficult divorce, parents should refrain from keeping score of perceived wrongdoings. This adds to the tension of a custody arrangement, also adding undue stress for kids who may already feel caught in the middle. It is best to remain flexible in order to peacefully navigate a new child custody arrangement.

There is no such thing as a perfect child custody arrangement. However, it is possible to manage the divorce process in a way that secures an arrangement that protects the interests of all parties. Before agreeing to any terms of a custody agreement, parents should strive to fully understand all custody options. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Tips for Sharing Custody", Marina Sbrochi, June 26, 2015

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