No, you cannot "make" someone visit or spend parenting time with their children, but you can incentivize, motivate and encourage. One motivation technique or incentive Massachusetts divorce lawyers often employ is to craft the agreement, or court order such that if a visiting parent misses their scheduled visit, they pay the costs for the custodial parent to have a babysitter for that time period or to pay lost wages. Of course that is a negative incentive, sometimes positive ones like perhaps offering to be flexible with the times or to do the work for them (like to plan a birthday or holiday party and let the other parent come enjoy it without having to prepare, contribute or clean up. No, it is not fair. But it may give the children a chance to see the other parent.
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.
You want to be a happy Massachusetts parent but your countless responsibilities make this goal challenging. Don't lose hope just yet.
Is your blended family just like The Brady Bunch? Probably not, because it's noteasy to combine two Massachusetts families into a new unit. Welcoming a new spouse brings with it an explosion of stress-inducing newness, with new stepchildren, new rules, new demands, new religious practices and more. Though you'll have extra challenges as a blended family, creating a lovely, peaceful home is attainable.
The transition from an intimate partnership in which the parents share a personal relationship to the more distant co-parent relationship is difficult for many Massachusetts parents to manage. The difficulty is compounded because often each parent has different preferences and expectations for co-parenting.
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.