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The benefits of shared parenting after a divorce

In the past, Massachusetts courts often determined that the children were best off living with their mother after the divorce was finalized. However, many experts now say that children thrive best when they have the opportunity to maintain strong and healthy relationships with both parents unless there are mitigating factors.

While this is supported by numerous studies, it also generally makes sense. When children get to spend equal time living with both parents under shared parenting plans, they continue to get the best of both worlds. For example, fathers tend to be more likely to engage their children in physical activities, such as playing football or other sports. Mothers, on the other hand, are more likely to assist kids with their socialization skills. Even if the parents do not follow traditional gender roles, the children still usually learn different skills sets.

Children can still spend time with both parents even if one parent has primary or sole custody. The main problem is that the other parent often becomes the "fun" parent as they spend the shorter amount of time they have doing things that the kids enjoy. However, this also often prevents the parent from being able to have a positive effect on the children's long-term developments.

When parents are going through a divorce, it can be difficult to determine where the children will live. If the parents can negotiate and work together, they may determine that a shared parenting plan is their best option. A family law attorney may assist with any negotiations when it comes to creating a parenting schedule that allows both parents to play an active role in parenting their children. If the parents cannot work together or there are factors that prevent one parent from being able to properly care for their child, the attorney may seek sole or primary custody.

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