Determining who will care for children is arguably the most important issue that divorcing couples need to resolve. Ideally, they should work together to reach a resolution that will be best for the children.
Learning about some fundamental elements of how Massachusetts child custody matters can assist parents in understanding their rights and make informed decisions. Here are a few things that parents should consider about the law pertaining to child custody.
Neither parent has a superior right to custody
There is a common myth that mothers are preferable caregivers to fathers. In reality, courts do not show preferable treatment to mothers or fathers.
Children’s wellbeing is the courts’ priority
When issuing a ruling about custody, every family court’s primary objective is promoting the best interests of children. Fairness or convenience to parents comes second to children’s welfare.
Courts may consider children’s wishes
Children cannot legally decide which parent they should live with. Nevertheless, a court may consider children’s wishes when evaluating whether a custody arrangement is in their best interest.
It may be possible to modify custody later on
Courts make determinations about custody based on the circumstances in effect at the time of a hearing. If there is a material change in circumstances in the future, a parent may petition for modification of a custody order.
Issues related to child custody may be rather complex and require some compromise. Regardless of how parents or a court ultimately decide to allocate custody, parents should make an effort to co-parent effectively in order to provide their children with optimal care and support.