For whatever reason a Missouri resident divorces their spouse, the end result they are aiming for is to no longer remain in regular contact with their ex and to no longer meet them. Unfortunately, when there are children involved the parental relationship continues even when the marital one ends. Since most parents strive to get joint custody, both legal and physical, this usually means they will be talking to their ex about schedules, pickup and drop-off routines and other important decisions. Therefore, is there any way Missouri residents can make transitions and schedules in joint custody less stressful?

Joint custody: How it works

Joint custody means parents are sharing the care and guardianship of the children after the divorce. Legal refers to them making important decisions regarding their upbringing together and physical refers to sharing time equally between the parent’s residences. While joint custody is in the best interests of the children, it is rarely in the best interest of the parents, especially if the divorce was less than amicable.

The most important point to remember is that joint custody is not about the parental relationship—it is about the children. It is about creating a healthy and stable childhood for the kids and this usually requires both parents put aside their ego. This usually requires parents find a way to communicate with one another and thanks to technology, it might be possible to achieve this without actually talking to one another. Calendars, common document storage and expense logs are all available to keep accurate records of children’s information.

The parenting schedule

Parents need to create a realistic parenting schedule that accurately depicts their commitment. It should not be based on fear or insecurity, as an inability to keep up with the child custody arrangement can cause legal problems. Instead, parents should work on customizing their arrangement based on their schedules, personalities, careers, social commitments, academic activities and childcare arrangements. While alternating weeks may work for some parents, others may find it more convenient to switch every two days. One way to ensure the custody agreement can work for everyone is to consult an experienced family law attorney to voice one’s needs and negotiate on one’s behalf.