In certain situations a Massachusetts family law court may rule that a child should be in the sole custody of only one of his parents. This may occur due to problems that child would face in the household of the other parent. If the noncustodial parent is incarcerated, has a drug or alcohol problem, or has exhibited abusive behavior toward the child or others the court may place the child outside of that parent’s control. Every child custody case is assessed on a case by case basis, and when two people go through a divorce the court will also consider the best interests of their kids when making a custody determination.
According to some studies, however, parents and kids generally do better after divorce when the parents share time with their kids. Two different concepts of shared parenting should be differentiated: Shared parenting implies the children spend time with both parents in potentially unequal distributions while equal parenting implies that two parents each get the same amount of time with their kids.
Separation from one parent through either sole custody or shared custody but with an unequal distribution of time can cause anxiety, stress and other negative feelings in a child. Additionally, some parents who hold all or most custodial responsibilities feel overwhelmed by their duties when they cannot share them proportionally with their children’s other parent. As it stands, many parents and kids function the best after a divorce when they work out equal parenting time arrangements for their child custody plans.
No two divorces are alike and for this reason divorcing couples should not assume that they will be granted equal parenting and custody time of their kids during their divorce proceedings. Many factors, including the best interests of the children, will be considered by the family law courts hearing their matters. However, with the help of their legal representatives some parents may choose to advocate for equal parenting time with their soon-to-be exes in order to serve their children’s and their interests.