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LOCATIONS | ST. LOUIS, MO, & STE. GENEVIEVE, MO

As you face the termination of your marriage, are you worried about the impending battles you and your ex will have? When there are children, usually the most contentious aspect is figuring out the parenting time schedule.

The stereotypical scenario is parents fighting it out in court for months and getting the children involved in the argument, but this does not have to be your story. You can take steps now to prevent a child custody battle in your Missouri divorce.

Put the children first

Divorce is painful for you, no doubt, and it is just as much so for the children as well. They may be experiencing a range of new and confusing emotions, from anger to fear. Putting their needs first and doing what is best for their emotional health will help them adjust better to the divorce and maintain a positive relationship with each parent, reports the American Psychological Association.

Try mediation

Litigation may be the traditional approach to divorce, but it is not the only one, and often not the best one either. Mediation is a cooperative effort to create the divorce terms on your own with the help of a facilitator, as no one knows better what is right for your family than you do. Mediation also saves you time and money, thus further decreasing the negative effects of divorce.

Be flexible

Even if you are successful in determining child custody matters, issues will inevitably come up in the future. Be flexible when faced with these challenges, always remembering to do what is in your children’s best interests. It may mean going off schedule a little or completely redoing it. Either way, address the changes as you did the original agreement to avoid contention. As your children get older, you can ask them for their input to see how the current arrangement is working for them, so you can make an informed decision.