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Proactive approach can help parents in child custody cases

Few people go into a marriage with the belief that they will one day face a divorce. Similarly, few people enter into parenthood in the belief that they will one day face a child custody fight. That said, statistics show that both of those outcomes are far more common than many Massachusetts residents would like to believe. That is why it is important to take proactive steps to prevent a negative outcome in the event that a custody battle occurs.

Fortunately, many of the steps that can be taken to protect child custody rights are also steps that are inherent in good parenting. Mothers and fathers can use these tips to move through a happy marriage and parenting experience, while also helping to better their position if the union should end in divorce. That is a win-win for everyone involved, including the children who are at the center of the matter.

One way to protect custody rights is for parents to remain closely connected to their children. This means avoiding a family structure where one parent is the primary breadwinner, while the other handles the bulk of parenting responsibilities. In such arrangements, it can be difficult for the absent parent to make a successful bid for shared custody. Prioritize time spent with the kids, and be present and involved to the greatest degree possible.

Another way to prevent a poor child custody outcome is to keep a close eye on the shifting attitudes of children as they move through adolescence. A degree of moodiness is part of the process of growing up, as is a level of detachment from parental authority and control. However, when a child seems especially distant or hostile, it may be a sign of parental alienation. There are cases in which one parent is planning to move toward divorce, and is influencing the kids against the other. Staying on top of one's bond with each child is essential, no matter why the child's attitude may be shifting.

For Massachusetts parents who are concerned about the risk of divorce, there is little that can be done aside from making every effort to create a strong and healthy family. When it comes to parenting, following the tips outlined above is a great place to begin. These steps can also help to improve one's position in the event of a child custody case, even if that outcome seems unlikely.

Source: goodmenproject.com, "A Divorce Lawyer's Top Five Marriage Tips For Fathers", Babak Farzad, June 28, 2017

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