Whether there are children in the mix or not, divorce is usually a trying time. Divorcing fathers in Massachusetts and across the nation, though, face their own unique set of additional challenges when it comes to the issue of child custody. While the fight for equal parenting rights for fathers is gaining national attention, there is still a lot of work to be done.
Traditionally, divorcing parents in Massachusetts would likely have assumed that Mom would get custody of the kids, while Dad saw them for visits and every other weekend. However, after a number of studies, research indicates that children who spend more even amounts of time with each parent – roughly at least 35 percent – as opposed to living with one and visiting the other, not only have better relationships with each parent but do better psychologically, academically and even socially. With such clear benefits, it's hard to deny the advantages of joint child custody.
Divorcing Massachusetts couples have a lot of issues to consider, from spousal support to child custody to property division. With an increasing number of courts awarding visitation rights and even alimony for pets, yet another item to add to that list of typical divorce concerns may soon be pet custody. Indeed, a 2014 survey indicated an increase of 27 percent in cases of pet custody battles over the preceding five years.
There's no doubt about it: divorce can be a confusing and stressful time for children. In fact, for many Massachusetts spouses, worrying about how ending their marriage will affect their children may be their biggest divorce concern. The good news is, though, that from guilt-free visitation to counseling, there are strategies to help children cope with divorce that can make the entire process smoother for everyone involved.
Where January is often considered the peak time of year for unhappy couples to consult family law attorneys, statistics indicate that more couples in Massachusetts and across the nation actually file for divorce in March than during any other month. Regardless, for many separating parents, the most important aspect of a divorce is not the timing, but rather how it will affect their children. The good news is that, from child custody issues to exploring alternative dispute resolution options, there are ways parents can make their divorce as child-centered as possible.
For many Massachusetts couples considering a divorce, the biggest issue they are faced is how their children will be affected. Child custody tends to be an area of concern for mothers and fathers as both are usually worried about the welfare of the child and about their own parenting time. Though it may be tempting to turn the issue into a battle, studies have shown that everyone comes out better off in the long term when a shared parenting system that works for everyone can be established.
Massachusetts couples going through a divorce often place top priority on child custody and parenting schedules. Visitation and parenting time are always going to be important issues in any child custody dispute. How are parental rights affected, though, when the parents are involved in a child custody battle but were never married?
Change is a fact of life, whether for the worse, or, hopefully, for the better. Everyone makes mistakes, but with luck and hard work, many people learn from those mistakes and try to improve both as individuals and as parents. If a Massachusetts parent lost custody of his or her children but has since made positive life changes, there are options for child custody modification.
The holiday season is here, and it's a time of year most everyone finds at least a bit hectic and stressful. For Massachusetts families trying to figure out child custody issues or visitation during the holidays, however, it can be especially challenging. Whether celebrating Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, New Year's Eve or other holidays, divorced or separated families can benefit from establishing a plan with clearly-defined visitation and parenting time for both mom AND dad.
Whether in Massachusetts or the world over, most parents have their child's best interests at heart. Often, parents who are cooperating responsibly to work out a schedule with shared parenting time or frequent visitation for the non-custodial parent feel they can figure things out for themselves. Many believe there is no need to seek legal counsel on the issue of child custody. Unfortunately, this is not typically the case.