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Massachusetts could see changes in child custody decisions

When people are young, they might think about their future family and imagine a two-parent household that sees their kids grow up and move on up in the world. Sometimes, however, that two-parent household doesn't last or simply isn't what children grow up in.

People get divorced. Kids are born out of marriage. These realities necessitate child custody cases in order for parents to agree on how their children will be raised. The National Parents Organization and lawmakers in Massachusetts are working to help nudge parents and the courts toward a specific type of custody arrangement.

In child custody cases, an attorney as well as the courts (if involved) should work to protect child-parent relationships. Of utmost importance is the well-being of children involved in custody cases. Some lawmakers and the NPO believe that the current tendency of courts to assign physical custody to one parent is not best for parents or kids.

Shared parenting initiatives in Massachusetts and other states argue that the best child custody arrangement for kids is generally more of a 50/50 arrangement between parents. The days of being with one parent during the week and the other on the weekends might be limited -- if shared parenting advocates have their way.

In Massachusetts cases, child custody plans are written up that outline the parenting time arrangements. A family law attorney can help a parent fight for what he or she believes is best for the children, whether that might be a shared parenting plan or something different.

Source: USA Today, "Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome," Jonathan Ellis, Jan. 27, 2014

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