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Why you may want to cooperate with your former spouse

53496160_S.jpgTime is a precious commodity. As any parent knows, there are only so many hours in a day and so many days in a week. It can seem impossible to get everything that needs to be done within those confines. This is one reason why you and your children's other parent should work out a cooperative parenting plan for your child custody agreement.

If you decide to dispute every element of the custody agreement or other aspects of your divorce, the price you will pay is time. Courts in Columbia and elsewhere in Missouri are busy. If you need a hearing or multiple hearings, it will add months and possibly years to your divorce proceeding.

If your children are relatively young, you probably have already noticed how much they change from month to month. You will need and want to devote as much time as you have available to being with them.

Spending weeks preparing for a hearing can be stressful. If you testify, your spouse's attorney will have an opportunity to examine you. If you have already experienced a deposition, you have some taste of what this examination will be like. Only this time, it will take place in open court, with potentially dozens of people watchingyou  in front of the judge.

This can extremely stressful, and if your case is particularly contentious, you may have to appear at more than one hearing. During this time, you will be distracted and your children will not receive much attention.

Your children will grow quickly and if you have shared custody, you will, at best, only see them about half-time. Given that they will be in school or asleep much of that time, your time becomes even more precious.

Sometimes it is necessary to become as adversarial as the process permits, but consider the full cost of that decision and spend your time wisely.

Source: monroenews.com, "9 things I learned after getting divorced," Julie DeGroff Ruesch, April 15, 2016

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