As many Massachusetts parents can attest, raising children after divorce can present challenges. Most parents are committed to putting the well-being of their kids first. Experience shows that the way divorced parents interact with their children and with each other has a lot to do with how well they have moved on after the divorce.
During a divorce in Massachusetts, one parent may become concerned about the other parent's behavior around the child. In some cases, it could endanger the child's safety. This was the case with one father who was worried about his wife's drinking when they separated prior to filing for divorce. His main concern was that she would drink and drive with their 7-year-old son.
In many child custody cases in Massachusetts, parents end up with shared physical and legal custody. For joint custody cases, the parents share all of the responsibilities of raising their children. This often includes sharing the financial obligations associated with the costs of raising a child.
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.
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.
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.