joint custody

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

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Shared custody concern: No one-size-fits-all solution

When Massachusetts parents file for divorce, the primary issue on the table becomes child custody. Those who practice family law assert that child custody cases are among the most highly contentious and contested form of law. Even among couples who have little interest in arguing over issues such as the division of marital property, when it comes to issues surrounding their children, the gloves come off. Some opt for some form of shared custody in an attempt to gain equal parenting time with their children. However, the concept of shared or equal custody is not universally accepted among those who practice or are involved in family law. When it comes to the debate about whether such a practice should be statutorily mandated, many in the profession object. One point of view asserts that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all divorce, not should child custody issues be handled in a standardized manner. Each family is unique, and the skills and abilities that each parent brings to the table are also disparate. In the majority of scenarios, it would be far better for the child or children involved to remain in the primary care of the parent best suited to provide for their needs, both financially and emotionally. In addition, in cases in which there are questions of substance abuse, instability or physical or psychological abuse, shared or equal custody just doesn’t make sense. While most states have not embraced the concept of mandatory joint or shared custody, there is

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