Different groups in about 20 states, including some in Massachusetts, are calling for updated child custody laws. Many believe that the current child custody laws have not kept up with modern family dynamics. Upon inspiration of a state working group, a new bill was proposed. The National Parents Organization in Boston says a new bill would benefit both parents and children by allowing noncustodial parents more time with their children.
It is believed that reformed laws will allow courts to treat parents more fairly and lessen the bitterness and hostility that is often present between parents. The organization says it will allow judges to punish parents who fail to comply with time orders and favor parents who are cooperative with each other. It aims to get the bill passed to allow at least a third of parenting time to each parent.
Those opposing reform believe too much emphasis is put on parents and does not afford enough attention to the best interests of the children. It is believed that under current laws the children’s best interests will see that those who deserve custody will get it. Lawmakers believe that changes to the child custody laws must be implemented gradually.
While the bill cannot reach the House floor before being approved by the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, divorcing parents in Massachusetts may not be familiar with current laws. It may be beneficial for each parent to consult with an experienced child custody attorney who will be fully informed about the latest applicable laws of the state. Guidance and support will be provided in creating parenting plans that will suit both parents while protecting the best interests of the children.
Source: wwlp.com, “More than 50 state lawmakers support child custody law reform”, Tiffany Chan, July 22, 2015