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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.

Are custody rulings in Massachusetts fair enough to children?

The administration of some Massachusetts child custody case results may in fact turn out be unfair to the very children the courts were trying to help. The pattern of current child custody rulings may make children feel that they are property rather than human beings with rights and views of their own. Massachusetts family court rulings usually allow divorcing parents to spend equal time with their children.

Evaluation of recent rulings shows that a child more often than not spends six months with each parent. Child custody during birthday and holiday months keeps changing from year to year in order to ensure that no parent feels that he or she has been treated unfairly by the court.

However, these kinds of rulings can be viewed as in the best interests of the parents, not the children, which can be troublesome situations for some children. The children may not be comfortable jumping from house to house or traveling from one place to another every other day or month.

Courts need to ensure that the children's post-divorce living arrangements are the least disruptive so that the children do not bear the brunt of parental animosity. Oftentimes, after parents split up, children are regarded as prizes to be won. Since the main purpose is to raise a child in the best possible way, family courts may need to rethink custody rulings from a child's perspective.

The best alternative to this kind of situation can be the traditional arrangement, where one parent is granted primary custody and the other with visitation rights which include weekends and an extended summer holiday. Any parent faced with child custody issues or seeking custody modification may want to get more information about their options.

Source: BostonHerald.com, "Custody rulings treat kids like property," John Rosemond, Feb. 22, 2015

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