In recent years, men have been recognized for taking a more active role in their children's lives. However, a perceived disparity still exists when it comes to fathers across the United States and here in Massachusetts being treated equally in child custody disputes. Many state legislatures are now rethinking child custody laws and making the process fairer to fathers.
In the past two years, Massachusetts has reviewed and reshaped its laws on divorce and child custody. The new proposal surrounding child custody is that children do better overall when both parents are active in their lives after a divorce. With Massachusetts updating its child custody laws, the state will become more in line with other jurisdictions that are also updating their own child custody laws.
Child custody battles are difficult enough for separated parents living in the same state, such as Massachusetts, but what happens if the parents are from two different countries? Child custody disputes between parents from different countries can be very complicated. The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, a treaty that covers cross border child custody disputes, gives jurisdiction to the country where the child lived before the separation to decide where the child should live.
In Massachusetts, child custody battles are painful ordeals for families and especially children. An attorney has produced a short film to inform about these child custody battles and the horrible ordeals kids may go through in the middle of these battles. Child custody battles can cause kids to suffer emotionally and psychologically.
Individuals in Massachusetts normally don't like to be caught in the middle of two other people's bickering for fear of angering one or the other. Likewise, children who are caught in the middle of a child custody fight may feel helpless and fearful of the outcome. They might fear losing the parent who doesn't end up with full custody of them. The court ultimately has to decide which parent will gain custody in this type of divorce situation.
In Massachusetts, an agreement has been reached in a child custody battle of a 5-year-old girl. The girl had been in the middle of a child custody battle after her mother was murdered by her father. The father is now in prison, awaiting trial for the murder of his wife. The girl had been placed in foster care while the two families battled for child custody of the girl.
Child custody laws are being re-examined so that divorced parents are allowed to have shared equal custody of their children. A father in Massachusetts has been negotiating with the courts to see his 8-year-old son more than just a couple hours a week. In 2006, he was granted visitation for only three hours a week. After going to court a dozen times, the court increased his child custody time so that now he sees his son every other Thursday, every other weekend and every other Monday.
In Massachusetts, divorces that involve children most often have child custody battles as well. When couples with children are in divorce proceedings, the first and most common question they ask lawyers is "Who will get custody of the kids?" Even though child custody cases are intense and stressful for families, the most important thing to consider is what is in the best interests of the children.
The divorce process tends to come with a good deal of stress, especially when children get stuck in the midst. Child custody can become fiercely contested in many divorces involving children. Massachusetts judges are required to consider a child's best interest as the primary factor in any decisions that are made regarding custody and visitation rights. The idea that many child custody decisions could be based on personal presumptions is shocking to some.
When most people hear of a Massachusetts child custody dispute, the automatic assumption is that the parties are two parents who cannot reach an agreement on the care and custody of a shared child or children. In reality, challenges to a parent's child custody rights can come from a variety of sources, and sometimes even from individuals or agencies unfamiliar with the child or family. Such is the case in a well-publicized story in which claims of medical child abuse play a central role.