As many are already aware, having two loving, attentive and involved parents is the ideal situation for every child. Barring extreme circumstances such as abuse, this is why an increasing number of advocates across the nation are pushing for a presumption of equally shared child custody from the beginning unless a reason is shown why this should not be the case. Unfortunately, a number of states, Massachusetts included, still have some catching up to do.
The news isn’t all bad for Massachusetts. When it comes to when and how children with divorced couples spend allocated time with each parent, the state was graded a C-plus in a ranking system by the National Parents Organization, so while there’s room for improvement, it scored well above a number of other states who have no statutes yet in place for encouraging shared parenting. Massachusetts was also recognized for requiring all divorcing couples with children to attend a two-part parent-education program that aims to encourage a safe, calm and appropriate transition into divorce.
Shared parenting benefits children emotionally, mentally and even physically for a variety of reasons. When kids are able to spend time with both of their parents, it not only doubles their social safety net, it enriches their life experience by increasing the size of their nurturing familial circle. This is why some believe that, even when parents cannot find common ground and reach agreements in regard to child custody, there should be safeguards in place that put children’s well-being first.
In the meantime, parents who divorce will want to consider trying to put their anger, hurt and pride aside where applicable and work together to give their children two loving and nurturing — albeit separate — homes. Of course, sometimes this is easier said than done, as divorce is a stressful time for everyone. However, with the calm, knowledgeable guidance of an experienced Massachusetts family law attorney, a child custody agreement that works for both parents and their children can be achieved.
Source: sentinelandenterprise.com, “Shared parenting is the way to go“, Bonnie Toomey, Jan. 14, 2018