Even when parents’ marriages end in divorce, former spouses always want what’s best for their children. Parents in Missouri might find that divorce can complicate many things, but having children go back and forth between two households doesn’t have to be stressful if certain things are taken into consideration. Co-parenting can be challenging, but raising happy, healthy and well-adjusted children in the best of circumstances can be tough.

Children have a lot of adjustments to make – one of the big ones in the cases of shared custody – is spending time in each parent’s home, but parents have adjustments to make too. Given some insight, parents can make co-parenting a positive experience. One important thing to do is to maintain a connection with the children while they’re at the other parent’s home – texts, photos, videos and such.

Experts say parents should realize that they may have unrealistic expectations of their children in how they relate to the parent from whom they’ve been away for a bit. It’s wise for parents to ask themselves what they also need during the time their children are with their other parent and give that to themselves. Creating a ritual for transition times can work to make the experience a positive one – such as baking cookies together before the kids leave.

Both children and their parents can be affected by divorce. Coming to an agreement on a parenting plan that truly reflects the best interests of the kids is a good place to focus. A plan typically addresses issues regarding health care, school, custody and parenting time, as well as other matters. Sometimes, of course, the parents simply can’t agree, in which case it may be necessary to turn to a family court judge to settle the matter for them.