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Child Custody Archives

Situations where child custody arrangements may be modified

There are a number of reasons why family law judges in Massachusetts and around the country may modify child custody arrangements. Judges award custody and visitation based on what they consider to be in the child's best interests, and they may revisit and revise these decisions when the situations of custodial or noncustodial parents have changed. Custodial parents may also lose primary physical custody when police notify the courts of incidents of domestic violence or reports from teachers or social workers suggest that children may be living in dangerous environments.

What happens if a child's custodial parent dies

Massachusetts parents who are divorced might wonder who would get custody of the child if the custodial parent died. Generally, the noncustodial parent will get custody although if that parent is the father, it is necessary for paternity to have been established. This means that either the father has signed a formal acknowledgement of paternity or his name is on the birth certificate. If this is not the case, then the father will need to follow state law in establishing paternity in order to get custody.

Putting children first in divorces

Divorces are difficult for most people in Massachusetts who go through them, including children. When parents decide to divorce, it is important that they keep their children's needs and emotional well-being at the forefront so that they may be better able to adjust.

About child custody exchanges

Massachusetts parents who are facing the end of their marriage should know that child custody issues can be some the most divisive ones that can arise. While these negotiations can be especially contentious, arriving at an agreement is essential to being able to resolve a divorce.

When a divorced parent moves away

Despite the best intentions of Massachusetts parents to remain in close proximity to one another for as long as their children are minors, there may be reasons one decides to move, including wanting to be nearer a new partner. However, even if the parent only moves a half hour away, this still represents a significant increase in commuting time for driving the child back and forth. If the relationship between the two parents is still contentious, the parent who has not moved might respond by simply refusing to keep driving the child.

Domestic violence, divorce and child custody

Massachusetts parents divorce for a variety of reasons. In some cases, a marriage ends because one spouse was physically abusive to the other one. When parents divorce because of domestic violence, child custody issues can be complicated, and it is not always easy to predict which parent will get primary physical custody.

Determining child custody

When Massachusetts parents are unable to make a child custody agreement on their own, the next step cold be a courtroom. The first standard a judge uses in making a custody decision is that of the primary caretaker. It is believed that a child bonds deeply with the primary caretaker and the preservation of that bond is crucial in ensuring healthy child development.

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.

Custodial parents often call the shots

After a divorce, a non-custodial parent in Massachusetts can face some serious challenges related to participating in the parenting process. While joint legal custody is commonly awarded, the party who has primary physical custody may use that position to limit the ex-spouse's access to the children. Even when the law and the parenting agreement provide for both parties to participate equally in making important decisions, the non-custodial parent can have trouble in learning about certain activities involving their children.

Co-parenting after a divorce

Many parents who divorce in Massachusetts have trouble co-parenting. Although the divorce order may award joint custody to both parents, the parents could have difficulty arranging schedules and making parental decisions together. When parents cannot communicate effectively after a divorce, their disagreements could lead to more court proceedings.

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