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Melissa A. Featherston

Child custody has a long-term emotional impact on children

As children often carry a significant and heavy emotional burden during and after their parents' divorce, it is important to provide stability in as many areas as possible. From visitation schedules to the schools that the children will attend, a child custody order should provide stability and a continuity of lifestyle if possible. In order to provide the best, most workable situation for the kids, Missouri parents may find it useful to work together to resolve these complex issues.

The period immediately following a divorce or the announcement of a divorce can be the hardest on the children. Experts agree that even though parents may feel guilty about the situation at hand, they should not accept bad behavior from their children. Setting limits and expectations for behavior may seem counter intuitive during this time of transition, but it is better for the kids long term.

Children are resilient. However, that does not mean that they will not feel sadness or frustration over their current situation. Providing kids a way to express their feelings without fear of punishment is a useful way to deal with intense feelings that may explode later, disrupting any feelings of adjustment to the new normal.

Support for the kids during the divorce process and the period of adjustment that follows can be provided in the form of a workable, practical child custody order. This should be based on what is actually beneficial for the children, not the emotions or issues of the parents. With the right help, a Missouri parent can guide their children during difficult transitions and changes.  

Source: The Huffington Post, "How to Support -- and Set Limits -- for Toddlers, Tweens and Teens Post-Divorce", Dana Westreich Hirt, April 29, 2016

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