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Shared parenting one option in divorce

State legislators around the nation are reviewing current laws governing custody arrangements affecting divorcing parents. A new trend emerging in child custody cases is shared-parenting laws which, when implemented, allot both parents an equal division of time with their children.

The National Parents Organization is spearheading the effort to effect a change in the nation's domiciliary custody laws. Founder Ned Holstein cites three main reasons for making changes at the legislative level. According to Holstein, gender roles have radically changed and men are often caretakers of their children, polls indicate a majority of Americans believe shared custody is the best option unless substance abuse or physical abuse is occurring, and lastly, the courts have empowered domiciliary parents to the degree that non-custodial parents are frustrated at being shut out of their children's lives.

Whether legislation is passed in Massachusetts that affects the current custody laws or not, divorcing parents should definitely put the welfare of their children before their own interests. In many case, shared custody may be the best choice. However, it also presents its own set of challenges as the children's routines may be disrupted by the constant switching from home to home, affecting their friendships and sense of security.

If you are divorcing and battling your ex for custody of your minor children, you need to engage the services of a capable divorce attorney well-versed in Massachusetts laws governing divorce and child custody. Your lawyer can help you explore the custody possibilities available to you and that will best fit your family's lifestyle. An attorney may also recommend mediators and counselors who can evaluate the needs of your children and make a recommendation to the court.

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

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