Shared custody options abound for divorcing fathers

When a marriage becomes unsalvageable, many Massachusetts fathers put off talk of divorce for as long as possible. Fears of losing time spent with their children lead many to remain in unhappy unions for far too long. For those who are considering divorce or are in the early stages of a split, it is important to know that divorce does not have to sever the relationship between father and child. A wide range of shared custody arrangements exist that can ensure a father remains an integral part of the lives of their children.

While it can be argued that no child custody arrangement is truly 50/50, there are many variations of shared custody that can fairly divide time spent between households. The first step toward a successful shared custody arrangement is taking the time to work together with your spouse to iron out the details of the new breakdown of parenting time. In some circumstances, parents will reside close enough that their child or children can move easily between the two households.

Other families may find that the children benefit from remaining with one parent throughout the week when school is in session, then segueing into more time with the other parent during summers and holidays. In addition to physical custody, parents can also divide the decision-making tasks associated with parenthood. Perhaps one parent is better equipped to handle educational decisions and college plans, while the other wishes to make all medical decisions and handle disciplinary matters.

The most important thing to remember is that divorce does not have to relegate fathers to every-other-weekend status. Fathers in Massachusetts can chart a plan to remain a central part of the lives of their children, and they can work with their former spouse to ensure that the kids receive the benefits of two involved parents through a form of shared custody. When coming to any child custody agreement, it is imperative to create a written parenting plan that is as detailed as possible. This ensures that both parties are fully aware of their roles moving forward and can reduce the potential for conflicts down the line.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Custody And Its Different Components,” Eyal Talassazan, Oct. 16, 2012

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