Among the most common complicating factors in Massachusetts divorce cases is child custody. Because there is a lot of attention and emotion involved in custody battles, some myths have developed about the specifics of custody cases.
One popular myth is that, in cases where domestic violence has been alleged, the children will be safe from the influence of an abusive parent once the parents are separated. According to some experts, however, many parents use children to bargain with, manipulate or control the other parent.
A second myth regarding child custody is that an abusive parent has little chance in the custody battle. According to the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women, a surprising number of domestic violence victims do not end up with custody of their children. This is often because parents recovering from domestic violence may suffer from post-traumatic stress or depression. In such cases, a judge may place a child in the care of a relative.
Separating a young child from the primary caregiver for an extended period may affect the child’s feelings of security and social development. That’s why some experts say that children under four years old should not stay overnight away from the parent who is the primary caregiver.
Courts examine custody cases with the best interests of the children in mind. An attorney with experience handling divorce cases may be able to provide advice and guidance to a parent during the process. The lawyer might be able to gather evidence and build a case in support of custody or argue on behalf of a parent during family court proceedings.