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.
Anger is a perfectly natural emotion, and a primitive one as well. It's a fight or flight response - something that our minds and bodies need in order to tell us when we're unsafe. One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is to treat anger as something unnatural.
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.
Today's smartphones offer near limitless access to information, but they also access porn, violent imagery, and other disturbing content your Massachusetts children might not be ready to see. And then there's the very real possibility of addiction to the device's entertainment. But, rest assured, with the rise of these devices' ubiquity has come a number of parental control devices and apps that help you do everything from block problematic sites to set weekly screen-time limits.
As a Massachusetts parent, you are likely to be feeling a mix of emotions about sending your children back to school. On one hand, it is a little sad that summer will soon be over, but on the other hand, you could probably stand a little extra quiet time after being around your children more consistently. If you share co-parenting responsibilities with your former partner, however, back-to-school is a perfect time to re-evaluate your rules, boundaries, and other elements of your parenting arrangements.
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.