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Massachusetts considering new child custody rules

A proposed law about child custody is under consideration by the Massachusetts legislature. The bill would change the child custody guidelines to make the default rule a 50/50 split of time between the parents. Family courts across the country have been moving toward a concept of true joint custody in recent years, and this legislative proposal would take that one step further in the Bay State. 

Parents seeking child custody and fighting for more time with their kids recently rallied at a gathering in another state. The point of the rally was to encourage their state to join Massachusetts and several other jurisdictions as they work to make changes to the child custody laws. The change would allow a noncustodial parent to have more time with their kids, those for the change assert.

If the proposal is enacted here, it would require family courts to presume that equal custodial time between the parents is the standard. This could affect more than just child custody, as child support issues would also be impacted. It remains to be seen if the bill will pass and be signed into law. Until then, those in support of the changes will be watching and lobbying.

More and more, the concept of the so-called weekend dad appears to be a thing of the past as fathers gain more and more say in child custody proceedings. Of course, parents are free to agree to a plan that is in the best interests of their children regardless of the existing law or the new legislative proposal. Those facing these issues can consult an experienced family law attorney in Massachusetts. In doing so, a parent can get the assistance needed to pursue the goal of spending more time with his or her kids as they grow older.

Source: kvue.com, "Fathers rally for equal time with children post-divorce", Nicole Rosales, June 16, 2017

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