Since this Springfield, Massachusetts, blog has discussed guardianships and how they can help families protect their beloved children in difficult circumstances, we felt like it was important to make a distinction between a guardian ad litem and a straight-up guardian, as both terms may come up in Massachusetts child custody cases.
When the partners to a Massachusetts married couple end their relationship there can be a host of legal matters they must sort out. Particularly if the partners share children will they have to establish custodial, visitation and support matters before their affiliation is officially severed through divorce. Parents in Massachusetts can share the legal and physical custody of their kids or their courts may establish sole custody arrangements if they serve the best interests of the children.
Not all couples who marry and have children end up living their lives together until death parts them. Rather, a number of Massachusetts families undergo transitions from shared households into separate households as the parents go through divorces and bring their unions to their ends. When parents separate or otherwise end their relationships it is often necessary for them to create a custodial parenting plan or to have a court draft an order addressing such issues for the benefit of their parents' shared children.
In matters related to the custody of children, courts throughout Massachusetts as well as throughout the rest of the United States look to preserve the children's best interests. Achieving this important standard can require courts to examine the personal and professional lives of the parents and individuals who appear before them seeking custodial power over the children. In doing so individuals who wish to attain custody of the children can make damaging accusations against the other individuals whose intentions also include custodial rights.
Children are beautiful and unique reminders of how innocent life can be. For Massachusetts parents who have had to go through divorce, it can be terribly upsetting to inflict the stress and strain of a marital dissolution on kids whose lives should be filled with happiness. However, it is often best for everyone in a family for the parents' relationship to end and when a divorce is occurring there are important steps that parents can take to protect the unique needs of their children.
In the event that Massachusetts parents decide to divorce, it is likely that either on their own or with the help of the court a child custody and visitation plan will be created. When child custody orders and agreements are prepared they are drafted with the best interests of the children in mind and for this reason they can be rather subjective and can vary depending upon the needs of the children.
Often, when parents begin to stress over child custody matters, their concerns surround where their children will live and which parent will have physical control over them. Matters related to the physical placement of a child are part of the child's physical custody plan, and in Massachusetts a parent may have sole physical custody of the child or share it with the child's other parent.
Although the warmth of summer may last for a while longer, all throughout the country children are preparing to wrap up their vacations and re-enter their school classrooms. Here in Springfield, parents may be reviewing school shopping lists as their kids cling to their last few weeks of calm before the rigors of the academic year begin. For most families, back to school time means a change in the routine they experienced during the summer break. For families subject to child custody agreements and orders, back to school time may indicate the need to review or modify a child's physical custody plan.
Whether Massachusetts residents are custodial parents or non-custodial parents of children, the decision to move, following a divorce, is not something that should ever be taken lightly. Regardless of the reasoning, the courts have various protections and procedures to ensure that such decisions are necessary or done with proper intentions. In addition, courts work to ensure that future visitation rights are not negatively affected by the move.
As we have stressed in the past, the divorce is never easy and seldom painless for all parties involved. Although on occasions both spouses are on the same pages with many of the decisions that need to be made, this is rare. More often than not, there are differences of opinions, beliefs and wishes. This leads to disagreements. Add to it the fact that there is often animosity, resentment and hurt feelings, and things can get complicated and occasionally messy.