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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Child custody: Helping Massachusetts children adjust to changes

When it comes to the decisions of child custody, young children affected by the situation often have no say in the matter. The best interests of the children are the most important aspects of deciding child custody, and these decisions may mean children being separated from one or both parents and possibly moved to a new location altogether. A significant change such as relocation can have a considerable impact on the mental well-being of a child. It is important to make sure children, including those in Massachusetts, are made more comfortable with life-altering decisions.

After his mother was found guilty of neglect and a drug addiction, one Massachusetts child found himself and his older sister in foster care. As if being removed from their mother was not enough of a distress, the foster family they were living with was later found to be abusive, and they were moved to yet another family. When the boy's aunt later gained custody of the children, she had him enrolled in a preschool center where he would be able to spend the majority of the day interacting with other young children while his aunt was at work.

As a 3-year-old, all of the changes were difficult for the boy. The neglect he'd suffered from his mother caused him to be wary of his teachers and standoffish toward the other children. His aunt was not certain how to love the boy when she had children of her own, and her seemingly inattentiveness added to the boy's confusion. With the support of the teachers and workers in his classroom, the little boy and his aunt were able to form a better bond, which helped him connect more with the teachers and his peers.

When gaining custody of non-biological children, the transition can be difficult for all involved. The decision to remove a child from parental custody can be a difficult one, and it is important to understand the circumstances that could lead to such a decision. Massachusetts child custody laws are in place to create the best environments for children going through their parents' divorce or who are in negative situations and need better homes.

Source: Wicked Local Waltham, "Guest commentary: He weeps no more," William S. Saunders, May 28, 2013

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