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Massachusetts child custody: Seemingly minor incidents a factor?

Many Massachusetts parents know that choosing what is best for their children is not always an easy task. The difficulty of the situation can sometimes be increased if parents are divorced and do not always agree on how incidents should be handled. If one parent feels particularly strongly about an event, that parent may question the other's parenting abilities, and a serious child custody situation could result.

An incident in a neighboring state involving a father's parenting decision regarding his son's eating habits has caused his ex-wife to contact their court-appointed psychiatrist. The counselor was appointed to help the parents make custody decisions. After the incident, the psychiatrist made a report claiming that the father was incapable of properly caring for the 4-year-old boy.

The situation took place while the father -- who has visitation rights on Tuesday evenings -- was taking his son to their usual dinner location. The child instead wanted to eat at McDonald's, and when the father refused and gave him the ultimatum that the son could eat dinner at any other restaurant or not have dinner, the child chose to go without dinner. The father is dismayed that the event has been turned into a situation in which is parenting abilities are questioned.

This is a prime example of how different parenting styles can cause a situation to escalate. When a parent's ability to care for their child is put under scrutiny, it can have a significant impact on child custody arrangements. If a Massachusetts parent feels that their child is not being properly cared for or if a parent feels that their parental rights are being undermined, information on state laws concerning custody arrangements and proceedings could prove beneficial as they determine how to address the situation.

Source: The Washington Times, Dad dubbed unfit parent for refusing son's pleas for McDonald's meals, Cheryl K. Chumley, Nov. 8, 2013

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