You want to be a happy Massachusetts parent but your countless responsibilities make this goal challenging. Don't lose hope just yet.
Making the decision to divorce in Massachusetts your partner is not something that should be done lightly, especially when there are children involved. On the other hand, unhappy couples should not stay together solely for the sake of the children.
As you undoubtedly know, the cost of raising kids in Massachusetts and across the U.S. is rising steadily. A significant part of that expense is due to increases in childcare costs. But how much are American parents spending to have their kids looked after? Business Broker Network, an online marketplace for businesses up for sale, put together a set of maps that shows the average cost of childcare in every state. Spoiler alert: it's a lot.
Although you can't predict what will happen in Massachusetts custody cases, you should draft standard language in custody agreements and court orders that will address common problems that arise in joint legal and physical custody situations. Doing so will help align parental expectations and minimize conflict for children.
Abuse should never be considered discipline and good discipline should never be abusive. But in the heat of a disciplinary moment, particularly one fraught with stress, Massachusetts parents can quickly approach the border of abuse before they even realize it. The speed at which correcting a child can turn into damaging a child makes it hard to pump the breaks, and even harder to be self-aware enough to recognize the danger.
We all say things we regret from time to time, but there is no more crucial time for parents to mind their words than during a Massachusetts divorce. Not only can the things they say come back to haunt them in divorce court, but, more importantly, they can harm children and the people around you. So if you're feeling frustrated, fed up or ready to explode, take a deep breath, count to ten and, above all, bite your tongue because there are things you should never, ever say.
Being there isn't enough - a good Massachusetts dad is a present dad. That means savoring every moment with your child, putting away your smartphone, and living mindfully. Alas, like anything worthwhile, it takes practice. Lots of practice. "Presence is focusing on right now, rather than having your awareness on something in the future, or worrying about the past," marriage and family according to therapist David Klow. "It's training our minds to focus on the depth of the moment rather than fleeing to go somewhere else."
The Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts have wide discretion in making child custody orders and thus the results are not predictable with any level of certainty. The courts are guided by a child's best interest in making an initial custody order. Courts make orders relative to physical custody and legal custody. The parties are encouraged to reach agreements between themselves without court intervention.
Before deciding on a divorce, you will want to weigh all your options and decide what is and isn't working in the relationship. You or your partner may be able to change some things so as to save the marriage, although some issues may be deal breakers.