FEW MATTERS can be as contentious and emotional as post-divorce child custody arrangements, and in recent years that acrimony has spilled over into Massachusetts politics. Several times, a bill calling for what is known as “shared parenting’’ — which would create a legal presumption for joint custody — has been introduced in the Legislature, and failed.
The debate has often been passionate, as divorce proceedings can be, and it has sometimes turned ugly. Some proponents of the bill, who claim that the family court system is biased against fathers, have launched ad hominem attacks against opponents. Unsurprisingly, this hasn’t created a receptiveness to compromise.