Choosing a person to be a possible guardian for your children in Missouri is a difficult enough task since you have to contemplate who can care for your kids if you should pass away before they reach adulthood. However, picking a guardian could ruffle some feathers among your family or your spouse’s family. Here are some ways you can promote harmony among your family as you choose your guardian.

Parenting points out that some spouses will argue over who should be a guardian. Disagreements can range from whether a spouse’s sibling or parents should care for the kids to whether the children will be happy in their new hometown. Because of these divisions in opinion, spouses should be up front about concerns they may have. They should also be willing to discuss issues that the other spouse has a problem with. These steps can help show that spouses understand and empathize with each other’s concerns.

Also, both spouses should keep in mind that the central question for choosing a guardian is whether that person will serve the best interests of their child. An individual that is a spouse’s current favorite for becoming a guardian might not necessarily connect the best with the child. Parents should consider which of their relatives their child has a stronger bond with and can provide well for the child.

Even after you settle on a pick, be careful that announcing your choice does not cause disappointment or anger among the relatives that did not make the cut. Family dynamics will vastly differ, with some relatives not caring that they were not chosen or even relieved that they were passed over. Other relatives, however, may be upset about not being chosen or that they were only picked as a backup to someone else.

If you should have a relative is upset for not being picked, explain carefully why you made your choice, emphasizing why it is for the best for your children. Even if your relative is not pleased with the choice, understanding it will likely help your relative to accept the decision. You may want to discuss the matter with the relative alone so the relative does not feel embarrassed in front of other family members or friends.

Promoting open communication between your spouse and your relatives about your choice can help prevent or minimize conflicts. However, since family dynamics can differ so radically, this article should not be taken as legal advice. Its purpose is to educate readers on family law and guardianships.