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Divorce Resources for Families

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/divorceres_2185.mp3

For families experiencing divorce, there are resources available at University of Missouri Extension offices. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

INNY HOPP SAYS IT TAKES A LONG TIME FOR PEOPLE TO WORK THROUGH ALL THE EMOTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH DIVORCE.HOPP IS A HUMAN DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST IN THE JASPER COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE.SHE SAYS IT'S NOT JUST ADULTS WHO TAKE TWO YEARS TO MOVE PAST A DIVORCE...IT TAKES CHILDREN TWO YEARS AS WELL. THAT'S WHY MANY EXTENSION OFFICES OFFER EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS...HOPP TEACHES A CLASS CALLED FOCUS ON KIDS...IT'S DESIGNED TO HELP PARENTS UNDERSTAND HOW TO GUIDE THEIR CHILDREN THROUGH THE DIVORCE PROCESS. HOPP SAYS STATE LAW REQUIRES PARENTS TAKE A CLASS LIKE THIS ONE WHEN THEY'RE GETTING A DIVORCE.

HOPP SAYS ONE MESSAGE IN PARTICULAR IS KEY FOR PARENTS WHO ARE GOING THROUGH DIVORCE AND HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN. HOPP SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE THE EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF CHILDREN DURING A DIVORCE. AND FOR PARENTS WHO HAVE VISITATION RIGHTS, NOT FULL CUSTODY, HOPP SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO MAKE GOOD USE OF THEIR TIME WITH THE CHILDREN. HOPP SAYS IN MISSOURI, MOST OFTEN, IT'S THE FATHER WHO HAS VISITATION.

HOPP SAYS THERE'S A SPECIAL WEBSITE OF PARTICULAR INTEREST TO FAMILIES IN THE EARLY STAGES OF DIVORCE. IT'S MISSOURI FAMILIES DOT ORG. THAT SITE IS MAINTAINED BY THE EXTENSION OFFICE. AND FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DIVORCE PROGRAMS IN JASPER COUNTY, THE NUMBER TO CALL IS 417-358-2158.

I'M MISSY SHELTON FOR KSMU NEWS.