Massachusetts parents may feel as if the past several weeks have been a whirlwind. Children that have parents that live separately may have had to adjust to a new schedule. Even families with court-ordered child custody schedules may have had to make some adjustments to accommodate school closings, varied employment hours, or illness.
When couples split up, the issue of where children will live and when they will see each parent can be particularly contentious. What can make this issue even more challenging in some Massachusetts separations and divorces are the conflicting beliefs people may have about child custody. Some people believe that shared custody is best for children, while others adhere to the notion that one parent having sole or majority custody provides more consistency. But, what does the research say?
It's no secret that when parents choose to part ways, their kids can struggle to adjust to the new reality. One of the earliest challenges Massachusetts parents face when choosing to divorce is how to share the news with their children. Even if there are touchy debates on issues like child custody, support or property rights happening behind the scenes, children can benefit when parents are able to present a united front and not share too many of the conflict-ridden details when breaking this news.
Most Massachusetts divorced parents understand that everyone involved -- parents, children and even extended family -- must adjust to many new situations and "firsts" following the split. However, the holiday season is perhaps one of the more challenging times for ex-spouses wanting to share parenting time, especially if the divorce was finalized fairly recently. While tensions can run high at this time of year, divorced parents can increase the chances of everyone enjoying a harmonious and relaxing holiday if they follow a few tips.
As any divorced person knows, the process leading up to the granting of the final divorce decree, although necessary, is often fraught with challenges. Divorcing Massachusetts residents who are parents also understand that, during the separation period and following divorce, parenting time becomes precious. Often, divorcing parents choose to co-parent their child or children and manage to create an amicable arrangement that can allow children to thrive in a stable environment rather than suffer the negative effects of their parents' decision. Parents who have chosen this route can benefit from a few co-parenting rules.
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.
As an active and involved father, you need the legal protections of paternity. Without establishing paternity, you cannot exercise your parental rights or create a child custody agreement that would guarantee access to your child. This is important even if you are on good terms with your child's mother.
Parents tend to be laser-focused on figuring out custody matters during divorce, and understandably so -- time spent with children is precious. Parents in Massachusetts may worry that their ex getting primary custody will not only limit their own parenting time, but will also not be in their child's best interests. A new Massachusetts bill aims to address this common child custody worry.
Time spent with children is precious, but some parents still are not getting enough of it. Unlike past generations, Massachusetts fathers now take on far more involved roles with their children, but many custody arrangements do not reflect this shift in society. Now perhaps more than ever, fathers are complaining that they are not allocated enough parenting time in their child custody agreements.
It is not uncommon for Massachusetts parents to disagree over how to split custody of their children. Some divorces even drag out for longer than necessary while parents try to sort out the best possible child custody agreement. Now though, "pet parents" are starting to go through the same thing.