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Melissa A. Featherston

Protecting the children with a thoughtful child custody order

When Missouri parents file for divorce, it is likely that this decision was preceded by months of fighting or difficult discussions. After such a long period of stress and conflict, it can be difficult to navigate the process of a divorce while maintaining an attitude of civility and cooperation. However difficult their own interpersonal conflicts may be, parents can make it easier to agree on a child custody order by keeping the focus on the needs of the children.

Parents know that divorce is hard on kids. New living arrangements and less contact with one parent can take an emotional toll, but parents can protect their kids from the deep wounds that many children of divorce carry. In order to do this, parents must shield their kids from fighting and conflicts between the adults. Any agreement should be primarily based on what is best for the children, not short-lived emotional victories or revenge.

In some cases, children may benefit from counseling during and after their parents' divorce. They also benefit from maintaining a strong relationship with both parents, even if one no longer lives at home. A focus on the psychological well-being of the kids can motivate parents to work closely on an arrangement that is sustainable and beneficial long into the future. 

Missouri parents know that divorce is hard, but it is possible to effectively navigate this complex process. A parent can greatly benefit by seeking the counsel of a lawyer experienced in complex child custody matters who is able to help a parent keep focus on the best interests of the child. Before discussing the terms of a child custody order, it is wise to seek legal counsel through a case evaluation.

Source: apa.org, "Healthy divorce: How to make your split as smooth as possible", Accessed on Feb. 15, 2016

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