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Should shared parenting time after divorce be the new standard?

While there is nothing about divorce that is pleasant, custody battles may seem the worst of it all to parents. Figuring out what places children in the best situation is not always easy. In looking at all available options, parents and lawmakers in Massachusetts and elsewhere are questioning the current parenting time standards, and are trying to determine if any changes are necessary.

When granting custody it is common for one parent to be given primary rights, while the other is granted visitation time. In most cases the primary care giver is the mother, though there are circumstances in which the father is given this role. This kind of arrangement tends to work for numerous families, but the effect this situation has on children is being questioned.

A study involving well over 100,000 individuals found that collaborative parenting arrangements tend to have fewer negative effects on children than traditional custody plans. This, of course, is dependent on a family's specific circumstances. As more parents are wanting equal time with their children and equal say in child rearing decisions, many are requesting shared parenting custody arrangements.

Shared parenting time may not be the best in every situation, but for those who are willing and able to make it work, this type of arrangement can help parent/child relationships. Will this type of custody arrangement be the new standard? It is hard to tell, but it is possible for parents in Massachusetts to request and negotiate such a plan if it is what is wanted. Regardless of what type of parenting plan is desired, with the assistance of legal counsel it is possible to negotiate custody terms that will work best for the entire family.

Source:, "Father's Day 2015: Shared Parenting Gaining Support, Equal-Time Child Custody the New Post-Divorce Arrangement", June 19, 2015

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