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Splitting custody and parenting time after a divorce

Following a divorce, getting back to a normal life can be difficult for everyone involved. While many parents in Massachusetts will have to learn to cope with limited custody time, the children may have a harder time adjusting to the fact that their one household suddenly became two. However, there are some ways that parents can help their kids adjust.

What happens when parents share legal custody

Legal custody may be granted to one or both parents after a divorce and refers to a parent's right to make decisions about major parts of a child's life including education, what religion the child will be raised in and health care. Legal custody is separate from physical custody, and a parent in Massachusetts who has visitation rights may share joint legal custody with the other parent.

Abusive parents and child custody

Some parents in Massachusetts who may have been in abusive relationships might be worried about protecting their children from the other parent. Unfortunately, according to the American Psychological Association, courts may dismiss an abuse history when making a decision about custody. Furthermore, in 2012, a report from the American Judges Association said that in around 70 percent of challenged cases, abusive spouses convinced a court that other parent was either unfit or should not get sole custody.

The Proposed Child Custody Law -- Will It Make a Difference?

boston law child custodyThere may be changes coming to the way child custody decisions are made by courts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts if a proposed bill is passed into law by the state legislature. Bill S.834 has been presented to the legislature to replace the existing statute (Mass. General Laws Chapter 208, Section 31), and is currently under review and debate.

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