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Joint parenting after divorce is possible for Missouri parents

Even in the aftermath of divorce, children raised by single parents can thrive, says one juvenile justice social worker who became a divorced mom herself. Co-parenting, also called "shared parenting" or "joint parenting," is a parenting style that involves both parents participating in raising their children and cordially discussing day-to-day issues involving them. While it can be difficult to incorporate two different parenting styles, joint parenting could be worth the extra effort.

According to a review published in the Journal of Family Psychology, increased involvement of the father after a divorce was an indicator of a successful joint parenting arrangement. The research also revealed that better grades in school, better behavior and better well-being can be expected when conflict between the divorced parents is at a minimum. Many parents who have been successful at co-parenting believe that maturity and security are key to making it work. Leaving the failed marriage in the past and focusing on the children involved is of the utmost importance.

The Journal of Family Psychology also found that when divorced parents get new partners, the likelihood of having a supportive co-parenting situation decreases. To avoid problems, parents should remember to put the children first and aim to have a mutually respectful relationship with their ex-spouse's new partner. Parents must remain flexible and willing to renegotiate arrangements when necessary to accommodate new extended family members, as hard as it may be.

Negotiating child custody, parenting time and other post-divorce issues can be hard, especially when hurt feelings are still present. A family law attorney could help divorcing Missouri couples work out an amicable settlement regarding sometimes contentious issues such as asset division or child custody.

Source: Lancaster Online, "Learn to co-parent successfully after divorce", Kimberly Marselas, July 23, 2013