When a couple decides to separate, no matter the circumstances, emotions are typically running on high. When that couple also has children, they may find it especially challenging to put those emotions aside when making custody decisions throughout the divorce process. However, doing so will only benefit all parties involved, particularly the children. For Massachusetts couples who are engaged in a child custody dispute, here are a few points to keep in mind to ease the process.
These days, family courts see the value in both parents having a meaningful relationship with the children and, with few exceptions, sharing parenting time and participating in major decisions involving their care. Therefore, both parents should be involved with their children's daily lives as much as possible: attending extracurricular events, going to parent/teacher conferences, keeping up with school email correspondence, etc. As well, regardless of any feelings of resentment, divorcing parents should keep in mind that the other parent is still the mother/father of their children and that the children have a right to that relationship.
Divorcing parents are also smart to try as much as possible to work out details of their arrangement on their own, no matter how difficult that may be at times. This way, parents can customize their agreement to suit their lifestyle rather than relying solely on a judge who does not know the parties involved on a personal level. In addition, divorcing individuals need an attorney they can trust and with whom they can easily communicate. During the divorce process, people want and need to know what is happening at each stage and the general direction in which they are headed.
For most people, the divorce process is not easy, but for those trying to negotiate a custody agreement that works for everyone, this time can be especially difficult. Rather than focusing on "winning" the child custody battle, divorcing parents are wise to keep in mind the overall picture and focus instead on doing what is best for everyone. An experienced Massachusetts family law attorney can provide guidance for divorcing parents during this challenging time.