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Child Custody Archives

Custody laws receive poor shared parenting grades

A 2014 report card from the National Parents Organization rated how shared parenting was dealt with in state child custody laws, and Massachusetts was awarded a C+ grade. While this may not seem to be a ringing endorsement, only five states received better grades. The law is often accused of failing to keep up with changes in society, and many legal experts say that outdated gender roles form the basis of much of the nation's child custody laws.

Kidnap fears prompt court order in celebrity custody dispute

Massachusetts residents may recognize the actress Kelly Rutherford from her appearances on popular television shows including 'Gossip Girl" and 'Melrose Place," and they may also have learned from media reports that she has been involved in a contentious child custody dispute with her ex-husband. The 46-year-old actress divorced her husband in 2008 after two years of marriage, but the legal wrangling over custody of the couple's two children has continued on for several years.

Reality star seeking custody of 11-year-old daughter

Massachusetts residents may be interested to know that former reality star Jon Gosselin is reportedly seeking custody of his 11-year-old daughter. This comes after the child complained that her mother, Kate Gosselin, was mistreating her. Despite the lack of a relationship between the two parents, it is possible that a judge would allow the daughter to live with her father. However, once a parent has been awarded custody of a child, custody rights may only be modified in most cases based on a change in circumstance.

Dangers of international child abductions

Massachusetts residents may be interested to learn that a hearing is scheduled for May 18 in an international abduction case that has taken more than 10 years to come to trial. According to the prosecution in this case, the mother took her 8-year-old daughter to Costa Rica illegally and lived there with her second husband. She returned to New Hampshire after the child turned 18. She and her second husband are now facing charges of witness tampering and custodial interference.

Study shows kids do best living with both parents after divorce

Massachusetts residents might be interested in a new study that indicates children of divorced couples suffer less stress when they spend time living with both parents. The research appears in the April 27 edition of the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Parental alienation after a divorce

Perhaps one of the most stressful aspects of divorce or separation is the arriving at an agreement about the support and custody of the estranged couple's children. This stress can be enhanced when one or more of the children begin to view one of the parents as the wrongdoer. Massachusetts social workers have observed and studies have supported two different types of parental alienation. The first is when the child's negative views of one parent are supported and encouraged by the other parent. The second is when the child begins to alienate from a parent without being provoked to demonstrate such behavior.

Actress Kelly Rutherford asks U.S. to take custody of her kids

Massachusetts residents may be interested to learn that "Gossip Girl" actress Kelly Rutherford has asked a federal court to grant the U.S. government custody of her two young children in a last-minute bid to keep them from returning to France to live with their father. The children, ages 5 and 7, are currently visiting her in New York.

Massachusetts child custody reform? Some say ‘no’

The first part of this two-part post explored the arguments that advocates are making in support of reforming child custody laws in Massachusetts. In a quick recap, the proposed legislation would add a few amendments. The primary change would force the courts to make joint custody the first choice, excluding cases involving an unfit parent.

Massachusetts child custody reform? Some say 'yes'

In 2010, U.S Census data estimated that approximately 80 percent of the custodial parents across the country were women. Advocates for child custody reform, like the Boston-based National Parents Organization, often cite statistics such as this in support of new legislation.

Virtual visitation and Massachusetts child custody

Child custody agreements in Massachusetts are increasingly changing to account for new technology and methods of communication between parents and children. Technologically based communication, otherwise known as virtual visitation, is considered to be an enhancement to regular physical visitation that allows parents and children greater access to one another outside of regular court-ordered visitation. This form of visitation is frequently encouraged to foster stronger emotional bonds and permit children and parents to stay in more regular contact.

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