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How parents can facilitate custody decisions

The custodial rights of a divorcing Massachusetts parent will be decided by the court unless an agreement can otherwise be reached. The actions each party takes at the outset could have a significant impact on the decision-making process. The most important aspect of protecting the child's well-being is for both parties to remain as civil as possible and the children to be left out of disputes between parents. Factoring child welfare into every decision from the beginning is the key to making the divorce as stress-free as possible for the entire family.

One of the most common decisions that can negatively affect a parent's custodial rights is to move out of the home. Even if it is difficult to live with the other spouse, it is important to facilitate a time-sharing arrangement that allows both parents equal involvement in the child's life. A divorcing parent should also make sure that the other parent does not take the child out of state, which could complicate the divorce proceedings.

During and after the divorce, a parent should seek to minimize trauma to the child by avoiding displays of anger or criticism. Maintaining a positive attitude whenever possible is the key to facilitating a shared visitation arrangement that works for all parties involved and allows children access to both parents. Kids should never be placed in the middle of a parental dispute.

During a custody dispute, the best interests of the child should be paramount. However, some parents lose sight of this and instead become insistent upon winning the battle. Attorneys will tell their clients that in these types of situations, the loser is the child, and they might recommend mediation as a preferable alternative to contentious litigation.

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