Any divorced parent in Massachusetts will likely know how difficult it is to make sure all decisions are in the best interests of the child -- especially if the child is an infant or a toddler. When parents negotiate child custody and parenting time, it would only be natural for a mother to think it would not be in best interest of the child to have overnight visits with the father at such a young age. She might fear such visits might jeopardize the mother-child relationship.
To play a role in a child's life, various adults may seek court approval, even if they are not the child's parent. For example, grandparents may request custodial powers. Indeed, in our changing American family demographic, new custody arrangements are bound to arise. A recent example, involving one dad and two moms, underscores that the best interests of a child can be served from a variety of loving contacts.
People get divorced for any number of reasons, from adultery and loss of intimacy to financial stress and feeling lost. Whatever the reasons may be for your divorce, it is very likely that there is going to be a loss of trust.
Parents who are going through a contentious divorce or fighting over custody struggle with intense, painful emotions. They can feel frustrated, helpless, angry, betrayed and scared, and these emotions can be enough to make anyone lose their temper more easily.
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 The law is often accused of failing to keep up with changes in society, and many legal experts say that outdated gender roles form the basis of much of the nation's child custody laws.
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.
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.
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.
Two studies indicate that Facebook and social media may be causing relationship problems and breakups. A survey of 2,000 married people in the United Kingdom found that one in seven respondents had thought about divorcing their spouse as a result of social media activity, which includes sites like Twitter, Skype and SnapChat in addition to Facebook. About 25 percent of those who took the survey said they had at least one argument a week about social media, and 17 percent said it the cause of a daily argument.
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.