Child custody disputes are about much more than emotions; they are about important legal rights and, most importantly, the best interests of the child. Furthermore, whenever parents divorce an assignment of child custody rights must be included in the final decree. While we often refer to custody generally, it actually includes both legal custody and physical rights. The following is a brief look at child custody for Massachusetts couples considering divorce.
Sometimes, child custody orders may not be appropriate or applicable as children grow older and parental careers change. Residents in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are likely to face child custody challenges just like parents all over the country.
When a child custody agreement is made, the parent with primary custody likely expects that he or she will maintain that position as the primary parent in their child's life for an extended period of time. However, certain circumstances may prompt the child custody arrangement to change.
For many years, an expecting mother who was unsure about the identity of her baby's father had only a few choices to confirm the father's identity. She could wait until after the child's birth and have DNA tests done or have amniocentesis done during pregnancy and determine the paternity through this potentially risky procedure.
A recent study looked into the child custody arrangements of a group of divorced Australian parents. The findings of the study may not entirely resonate with parents in Massachusetts, but they do offer insight into methods of creating child custody arrangements.
When a couple divorces, their family's daily life will likely undergo dramatic changes. One or both parents may move into a new home and a joint custody arrangement means that the children will split their time between two homes. Adjusting to moving between parents' homes may be stressful for a child.
When couples go through a divorce, much time is often spent determining how property will be divided and how child custody will be arranged. Each parent may be very concerned about getting to spend enough time with their children. While some children with divorced parents may primarily live with one parent and spend every other weekend with the other parent, other couples may aim for equal division of custody.
A Florida family's custody case points to the importance of custody arrangements for families across the country, including those in Massachusetts.
Same-sex couples often run into legal issues if they separate or divorce. If there are children involved, the legal issues can be even more complicated. A recent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court determined that same-sex couples in a domestic partnership have the same rights during a divorce or separation as married couples.
Many Massachusetts residents likely understand first-hand just how frustrating child custody arrangements can be. Each parent likely wants to spend time with their child and if the parents do not live near each other this can be quite difficult. One father understands quite well what it is like to not get to see his one's child for a significant period of time due to a custody issue.