Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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Family Law Attorney

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

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Massachusetts earns a C+ on joint child custody

Massachusetts couples may agree that shared parenting usually addresses the best interests of the children. When a couple goes through the varied steps required to divorce, it is the children who are the most adversely affected. Often, children are sad and feel insecure about the uncertainty of their future wondering where they will live and who will be responsible for their education, medical needs and so on. In this crisis, parents should set aside their personal animosity and jointly take over the responsibility of caring for their children which gives their children an example of responsible adults.

According to a parents' organization, political obstacles often cloud the children's best interests. After many years of developmental research, child experts often agree that shared parenting should be the norm. Experts from 20 other countries have also come to the same opinion that joint custody after divorce can create well-rounded personalities.

After years of dealing with the emotion outcome of failures, such as substance abuse, violence, sexual abuse, the study is quite an eye-opener. Also, statistics show that 35 percent of the country's children reared in single-parent homes develop behavioral problems. Experts believe all that is required to address these problems is for the courts to routinely order joint custody, which is in the children's best interests.

Nonetheless, in the study, no state in the country received an "A" for the child custody statutes. In fact, Massachusetts earned "C+" and many states received failing grades. Many states may have failed to come up with shared parenting plans because of concern voiced by domestic violence groups and lawyers. Courts prohibit shared parenting when there is a family history of domestic violence.

Source: Edge Media Network, "Study: Shared Parenting After Separation Benefits Children," Dec.18, 2014

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Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
1380 Main Street, Suite 302
Springfield, MA 01103

Toll Free: 877-622-6089
Phone: 413-315-5518
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