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Understanding how the court would decide child custody

When Massachusetts residents decide to divorce, one of their primary concerns is how to coordinate parenting time. These days, many couples choose to work out an agreement on their own, which often makes the situation better for everyone involved. However, they may need to keep in mind how the court would rule on child custody issues in order to make sure that any arrangement they come to will meet with the court's approval.

As would happen in other states, Massachusetts judges consider numerous factors in child custody cases. The primary factor is what would serve the best interests of the children. This involves looking at each child's relationship with each parent and extended family members, whether either parent has a history of alcohol or drug abuse, and which parent served as the primary caregiver during the marriage.

The court also considers how well each child does in the community and school where the family home was located at the time of the divorce. If a child is old enough, he or she could express a preference when it comes to custody, but the court is not required to adhere to what the child says. On the other hand, parents may involve their children in the creation of a parenting plan, which could increase the children's ability to cope with the coming changes.

Keeping these factors in mind, parents can create an agreement that considers these matters. Even so, any child custody arrangement can be tailored to the needs of the particular family. Research shows that retaining this control over the outcome helps parents better adhere to the agreement post-divorce since it is often more satisfying than any court ruling on the same issue.

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