Even in the best of circumstances, a divorce with children remains a complicated situation. Many scenarios, however, increase the complexity of child custody negotiations.
If not addressed in an intelligent manner, child custody complications have the potential to impact the best interests of children in the aftermath of divorce.
In Massachusetts, according to information from Childcare.gov, the health and well-being of children after a divorce should receive high priority in legal proceedings. The guiding term of “best interest of the child” takes center stage. The courts must consider many complex issues:
- The fitness, readiness and abilities of a child
- The past, current and future status of a child
- An assessment of pertinent facts
- The development of a service plan
- The suitability of placement decisions
Massachusetts courts consider a child competent to speak on his or her behalf at age 12. This enables the child to partake in decisions related to care, placement and services. The Department of Children and Families oversees many of the issues related to child custody in the state.
Joint physical custody
An article in Psychology Today reveals some complications related to joint physical custody. In these cases, children might not recognize their emotional needs as they defer to the judgement of parents and the courts. In reality, though “fairness” might dictate otherwise, a child could have a better outcome by spending more time with the most nurturing parent.
Though each situation is different, a child could feel overwhelmed, tense or anxious with a parent who fails to create a stable home. Some studies suggest children have better outcomes when they live with one parent and receive frequent visits from the other parent.