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Child custody should not be a battle

Oftentimes in Massachusetts, father's rights are overlooked or taken for granted. But most people agree that it is equally important that both parents have a solid influence on the child's life, despite a divorce. For many, child custody is shared between both parents, with one parent taking on the role of the custodial or primary parent. Still, when it comes to father's rights, there are many things divorced couples can do to ensure they maintain the best interests of the child through the involvement of both parents.

No matter which guardian is the custodial parent, it is important for both sides to work together despite the divorce. Getting a divorce is not something to be ashamed of, but it is important not to use the children as pawns or tools to inflict pain on the ex-partner. Parents will be best served to do their best to maintain a mutual agreement in terms of both the mother's and the father's rights. It has been said by many experts that a solid routine is beneficial to children regardless of where they reside.

If a custody agreement for parents' rights includes weekly visitation, it is also considered to be helpful to establish a predictable routine that includes holidays and vacations. It is also imperative that the parents establish and maintain a rule set that coincides with both homes as best as can be done. This allows for open communication when serious issues arise, such as problems at school -- without disparity between 'how things work' inside each household. Doing so often prevents a child's innate reaction to play one parent against the other, and also offers the child structure, despite the divorce. This tact also shows children that, although their parents are no longer together, they are still standing together in a united front.

Divorce is just as hard on the children of the marriage as it is on the couple separating. It is important for Massachusetts residents to know and understand parents' rights and child custody arrangements and how they work -- if for nothing else than to ensure both parent and child relationships and interests are persevered to the fullest extent. Parents would be well-advised to consult a qualified, experienced attorney specializing in parental rights, as this type of counsel is usually best equipped to assist parents struggling with their rights and obligations.

Source: The STLtoday.com, "Divorced parents must cooperate for their children's sake," Dennis O'Brien, Aug. 30, 2011

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