The approach of Massachusetts parents and family law professionals to creatingcustody schedules for infants has evolved considerably over the past few decades. As research into early childhood development and the effect of divorce on children has advanced, the complexity and detail put into developing infant visitation schedules have also bloomed.
For Massachusetts co-parents, deciding on a parenting schedule is one of the most significant measures to take soon after a divorce or separation. More than just overnights, parents must consider many aspects of their kids' schedules like school events, medical appointments, meal times, extracurriculars, holidays, bedtimes, and more.
Regarding the wellbeing of Massachusetts kids with divorced parents, the debate over what kind of custody arrangement is best rages on. But a new study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, suggests that children fare better when they spend time living with both of their parents.
A first-of-its-kind study found that parenting time varies dramatically as you cross state lines. Nationwide, a father is likely to receive about 35% of parenting time. See how your state compares below.
When there are challenges around communication while co-parenting after a Massachusetts divorce or separation, a parenting plan, either court ordered or by parental agreement, can structure the ways in which co-parents will communicate about their child. Including communication terms in a parenting plan can help to deescalate conflict, decrease misunderstandings, ensure that both parents have access to vital information, and insulate children from exposure to adult conflict.
Through the collective work of a Massachusetts Task Force of judges, lawyers, probation officers and mental health professionals, a Model Parenting Plan has been created combining the latest research on the needs of children with the experience of professionals who have worked extensively with children and families going through divorce and separation.
Many experts agree that shared custody (responsibility) is the best divorce outcome for Massachusetts families. In order for both parents to be as involved in their children's lives as possible, many turn to parenting plans. A well-drafted plan has the ability to put in writing the agreements made by both parties regarding the raising and care of a couple's children.