If you share children with your spouse, it’s imperative to take their needs into account when going through the divorce process. In fact, Missouri law demands that any custody or visitation agreement be constructed with their best interests in mind. The exact steps that you take to make a divorce easier on your kids will largely depend on their age and maturity level.
It’s not their fault
Your children should not be made to feel as if they are responsible for the end of your marriage. Even if having kids put pressure on your relationship with your spouse, they shouldn’t be blamed for the fact that the relationship failed. It’s also important to not say anything bad about your spouse before, during or after the divorce is finalized. Doing so will only serve to undermine their ability to be a good parent.
Show plenty of love
Your kids will need as much stability as possible during such a major life event. You can make the transition easier on your children by making it clear that you still love them and that nothing will ever change that. You may want to consider having your spouse with you when making a divorce announcement so that your kids know that both parents will remain in their lives on an ongoing basis.
Avoid litigation if possible
Opting for mediation means that your kids don’t have to see or hear anything related to your divorce. Furthermore, mediation tends to be less stressful than litigation, which means that you have more energy to be the strong parent that you need to be for your kids. Finally, mediation may be ideal because it often takes less time than litigation, which allows for a shorter and smoother transition period.
Typically, courts prefer joint physical custody unless there is a clear reason why doing so would not be in the child’s best interest. However, if you are denied custody rights, you’ll likely be allowed to spend time with them on a regular basis.