June 25, 2010
Now read this divorce law and court case news:
As reported by TheBostonChannel.com, Massachusetts lawmakers are reviewing a landmark bill that could dramatically alter child custody decisions in the state.
The bill, which is backed by the group “Fathers and Families,” would make equal custody the starting point in any divorce resolution. And while a judge could award full custody at his or her discretion, a written rationale for the decision would be required.
“Courts are still stuck in an old-fashioned, archaic one parent mentality instead of two parents for children after there is divorce, and there’s no need for it,” said Ned Holstein, founder of Fathers and Families. “[The courts] need to be nudged a bit into the 21st century.”
While the bill enjoys support from many noncustodial fathers who argue that the court failed to consider their shared custody arguments, the powerful Massachusetts Bar Association condemns the bill as too sweeping. “Each custody case is unique and requires judges to consider a multitude of factors in determining custody,” the Bar Association commented.
Joining the opposition are domestic violence groups, who worry that the bill could wind up putting children in the care of abusive parents.
Holstein rebuffs both of these arguments, saying that the bill would still give judges the power to determine sole custody in cases of abuse or any other real or potential hazard.
Divorce Magazine will stay on top of this potentially far-reaching issue and publish updates as they become available.