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How to keep the peace during Massachusetts child custody disputes

In a child custody matter, a family law judge in Massachusetts takes into account several factors, including the child's relationship to each parent as well as the parent's ability to raise the child. The judge will then weigh and balance these factors before coming to a conclusion about what is in the child's best interest. To help tip the balance in one's favor, though, it is important to maintain good behavior both in and out of the courtroom while a child custody matter is ongoing.

How a parent acts can affect a child custody proceeding in a big way, which is why it is so important to avoid anything that could give a Massachusetts judge a negative impression. For example, one thing a parent may consider doing during a divorce is moving in with another partner -- especially if the divorce is protracted over a long period of time. However, judges may believe that such actions can cause emotional harm to the child, and so moving in with a significant other during a divorce could be viewed negatively during a child custody matter.

Likewise, maintaining a sense of respect toward the other parent is also important. This includes not just face-to-face encounters, but even maintaining respect amongst close friends and family members. In this day and age, it is very easy for an offhand remark to reach the ears of the other parent. When that happens, the remark may well find itself as evidence against you in the child custody proceedings. This extends also to social networking sites, which may seem private but can end up being very public.

Overall, by staying generally respectful and considering carefully the potential effects of one's own behavior, it may help result in a fair child custody agreement.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Ways To Sabotage Child Custody," Joseph E. Cordell, April 2, 2012

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