Common Child Custody Issues & Concerns in Worcester
Many common child custody issues and concerns arise when two parents cannot reasonably agree on a custodial arrangement. Disputes often arise when each parent has a different idea about what is best for their kids, whether that be with the parenting schedule, what activities they should be participating in, where they should be going to daycare or school, or any of many other issues.
In some cases, special considerations necessitate extensive judicial intervention in child custody proceedings for a judge to determine what is in the best interests of a child. For instance, allegations of domestic abuse and child neglect often trigger state involvement or supervised visitation, or, if one parent left the home state with the child, the court may have to consider complex interstate custody and jurisdictional laws. Our child custody attorneys have over 35 combined years of exclusive family law experience and can help you navigate even the most complicated parental disputes in a manner that makes it easy to understand.
Types of Issues That Arise During Child Custody Disputes
Even when a certain schedule worked while both parents were living together, after they separate, those schedules may no longer be workable. Between the occupational responsibilities of both parents and the kids’ school hours, vacation, and recreational programs, a lack of flexibility often prohibits courts from entering shared physical custody orders. In such cases, judges may grant primary physical custody to one parent despite both parties being able to provide safe and healthy homes.
When unable to agree, people often look to the family court to address the practical issues associated with shared physical custody, including issues like the commute between both parents’ homes and any how to tend to any learning disabilities the child may have.
Our Worcester attorneys can work with parents to address the following common child custody issues and concerns:
- Unstable home environments.
- Parents who live out of state.
- Communication failures between parents or parental alienation.
- Changing needs of children.
- Age-gaps between siblings necessitating individual schedules.
- Conflict between children and other household members, including stepparents and siblings.
In awarding custody during contested hearings, a family judge’s primary concern is the child’s best interests. A local attorney can help parents understand how the guidelines listed in Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 208, §31 may apply in their case.
Addressing Allegations of Child Neglect in Custody Cases
Unfortunately, child welfare concerns might also come up during custody proceedings.
Examples of common child abuse and neglect allegations that could potentially affect custody include:
- Domestic violence
- Physical abuse of children (including extreme corporal punishments)
- Lack of necessary resources (food, clean clothes, school supplies)
- Unfit or dangerous home environments
- Household sexual abuse allegations
- Psychological abuse and manipulation by parents or their significant others
- Substance Abuse or Alcoholism
- Significant Mental Health Issues
It’s important to be prepared to submit supporting evidence of these allegations during child custody proceedings whenever possible so you don’t get into a “he-said, she-said” type of argument. A lawyer from O’Connor Family Law can help parents fight for their parental rights when facing allegations of abuse or neglect from state authorities or co-parents. Alternatively, our team can also prepare a case to help you protect your child if you believe that your child is suffering abuse from their other parent.
Discuss Common Child Custody Concerns with an Attorney in Worcester
Just because an issue arises with a scheduling or parenting conflict, that does not necessarily mean you will have to go through extended litigation in court. The attorneys at our firm have experience negotiating a settlement between the parents that will allow them to file a joint modification to a prior order. Going this route usually saves time and money and is better for your children as they do not see you stressed out about upcoming court hearings. It’s not always the best situation if you are dealing with someone who refuses to negotiate or if there is an unfair balance of power (either financially, emotionally, etc.). However, children often benefit the most when their parents can work through common child custody issues in Westborough outside the courtroom.
In other cases, you might need a dedicated family attorney to fight for your parental rights and protect your children from abuse and neglect. Seeking legal help from an experienced child custody attorney at O’Connor Family Law can put you in the right direction to get the result you’re looking for.
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I was represented by Sasha Khan in my divorce and would highly recommend her and O’ Connor Family Law for anyone going through a high conflict divorce.- Catherine J.
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