Amaral & Associates, P.C. - Divorce, Family Law

Posts Tagged parenting plans

What Are the Differences Between an ARC Attorney, Guardian ad Litem and Parenting Coordinator?

In high conflict custody cases in Massachusetts, there are many experts that can become involved in your case to help with the conflict and pending issues. The most common experts are Guardians ad Litem, Parenting Coordinators, and ARC Attorneys. However, many parents often confuse these roles. This article will explain what each role is and the difference between these types of experts.

 

 

Guardian ad Litem

A Guardian ad Litem (also known as a GAL) is one of the most common experts in a high conflict custody case. A GAL is typically appointed by the court to investigate the pending issues in the case. A Guardian ad Litem is either a mental health professional that works with divorced or separated families, or a Family Law attorney.

 

Oftentimes, the GAL is asked to investigate the facts of the case and then make recommendations for legal custody, physical custody, and parenting time. A GAL is oftentimes also charged with investigating other issues that arise such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse. Ultimately, the GAL … Read More »



Creating New Holiday Traditions for Children After a Divorce

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Divorce is difficult for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for children. Once parents decide to divorce, the children then have to face the reality of their parents no longer living under the same roof. This is a difficult transition for almost all children, but it can be especially difficult at the holidays. Parents should stress to their children that it is okay to enjoy the holidays during this difficult time—at both parent’s homes.

 

But to help children transition to this new structure of the family, parents should consider developing new traditions that the family as a whole did not do before. This can be something very small, such as selecting a Christmas tree from a specific place, or baking holiday cookies with your children, or something bigger, such as a nice vacation.

 

On the same hand, though, parents should also try to maintain some consistency. If there … Read More »



Types of Child Custody in Massachusetts

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Legal custody is the “decision making” custody. The parent or parents who have legal custody of a child have the authority to make decisions regarding the child’s care and upbringing, such as … Read More »



The Benefits of Engaging a Parenting Coordinator

The Benefits of Engaging a Parenting CoordinatorA Parent Coordinator is a Family Law Attorney or mental health professional who works with families relating to child custody and parenting time, whereby the Parent Coordinator assists parents to resolve and reach agreement concerning disagreements about co-parenting, custody, and the parenting schedule. Parent Coordinators are commonly used in child custody and parenting matters in Massachusetts as a way to resolve disputes without going to court. The Parent Coordinator typically acts as a referee to rule on any disputes, or works more like a mediator to help the parents negotiate and resolve any dispute.

 

Some parents look at Parent Coordinators as someone who is a referee and quasi-judge who decides which parent “wins” or “loses” specific disputes regarding co-parenting. Rather, a parenting coordinator is more like a mediator, who helps both parents work through a dispute and come to a relatively amicable resolution without the need for going back to court. This reduces the time needed to resolve the dispute (since it can be done privately and out of court), and can help preserve the … Read More »



How to Effectively Co-Parent At the Beginning of a Divorce

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Unhappy family and child custody battle concept sketched on sticky note paper

When parents divorce, there can be a significant impact on the children. For divorces involving children, some judges have referred to such a divorce as a corporate reshuffling, and say that the family corporation remains the same, but has undergone some reshuffling. That is to say, the family unit continues to exist, but in a slightly different format. From the moment parents decide to divorce, they have to realize that although they may no longer be a couple, they will always be co-parents. For this reason, parents have to continue to co-parent their children, regardless of the divorce. To effectively co-parent, parents should follow these tips below:

 

Show a United Front to the Children. From the time you tell your children that you are divorcing, all through the divorce, parents should be a united front for their children. They should agree when and how to tell the children that they are divorcing, and continue … Read More »



How to Help Your Child Emotionally Through a Divorce or Child Custody Matter

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The Real, Honest-To-Goodness Truth About Co-Parenting

parentingI’ve recently stumbled upon a number of extremely positive articles related to the subject of co-parenting with the ex and their new (or not so new) spouse. Articles in which the author welcomes the new “other” woman into the family, thanks them for the role they play in their child’s life or sings the praises of an ex’s role in raising their children.

Now, don’t get me wrong — these positive outlooks are inspiring and make me want to congratulate these writers for their unselfish and seemingly flawless co-parenting relationships. Yet, I also can’t help but wonder how words can sometimes make a situation seem so easy, when it’s really not.

I’ve been divorced for over four years. My son was only 18 months old when my ex and I separated and does not remember a time in which his father and I were together. My ex and I are both remarried and have other children with our spouses. To say the least, we have moved on.

I recognize the important role that my … Read More »



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