Child custody battles in Massachusetts sometimes end up being a battle between spouses, with proper consideration of the interests of the children forgotten. Many parents and lawmakers are supporting legislation that compels judges in a family court to order joint child custody, except in cases where a parent has been deemed unfit. It is the opinion of many that a parent should not have to fight for joint custody. However, critics contend that there should be flexibility in child custody laws to allow for the best interests of the children.

Some people believe that family court judges are continuing the traditional way of awarding custody to mothers, with fathers being left with weekend visits and support payments. The 2010 U.S. Census revealed that approximately 80 percent of the nation’s custodial parents are women. Fathers often have to engage in traumatic litigation in order to play equal roles in the raising of their children.

One advocate of the joint custody legislation reform claims to have been suffering emotional hardship for 20 years. This followed a judge’s decision to allow him limited access to his children after a divorce with high levels of contention. Supporters would like to see family courts allow joint custody by default and then consider the limitations and restrictions according to the children’s best interests.

Massachusetts parents who are considering divorce may benefit from consulting with an experienced child custody attorney. Every divorce is different, and a lawyer will assess the unique dynamics of each case before suggesting the best way forward. Every trustworthy parent should have the opportunity to maintain a loving relationship with his or her children.

Source: gloucestertimes.com, “Joint custody bill gets mixed reviews on Beacon Hill“, Christian M. Wade, March 26, 2015