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Yes, you have custody rights: those of your child trump, though

As a Massachusetts parent involved in a divorce that features children, you unquestionably have rights -- strong and plenary -- when it comes to the custody of your offspring.

In all but the most extreme circumstances, so, too, does your soon-to-be ex-partner.

Notwithstanding the prerogatives that you and your divorcing mate seek to identify and carve out in a divorce settlement, though, what you want isn't the end-all consideration for a family law judge.

Your child is.

In Massachusetts and every other state of the country, the "best interests of the child" standard is unchallenged as the bedrock principle guiding custody outcomes.

We note that in an article on our website at the Boston-area family law firm of Lisa A. Ruggieri, P.C.

And we additionally note therein that keen appreciation of that reality, coupled with loving parents who want to do what's right for their children even if they have disagreements between themselves, can go far toward producing best-case outcomes in parenting plans relevant to shared custody.

Shared custody can spell a best-of-all-worlds outcome for many divorcing parents in Massachusetts, although it customarily takes far more than a simple flick of a switch to make it work.

For many divorcing parties, close consultation with a proven and empathetic divorce attorney can materially enhance the odds that it does optimally work for all parties involved.

It is certainly reasonable to timely and fully understand the process and appreciate the wide universe of matters that can come into play regarding shared custody. Divorced dads and moms who carefully think about and draft parenting plans must often consider things like school and sports-event scheduling, vacation/holiday time, medical issues, religious instruction, relocation, what to do in an emergency, how to resolve parental disagreements and more.

And they must realize that circumstances and key issues change over time, necessitating flexibility and, sometimes, the revisiting of existing arrangements.

Shared custody comes with both challenges and opportunities. An experienced family law attorney can help a divorcing client feel a sense of empowerment and take steps to best ensure that custody expectations and arrangements truly work for all involved parties.

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