Massachusetts Child Custody Lawyer

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Massachusetts Child Custody Attorney

Divorce is a difficult time for children. The law is cognizant of that and attempts to make the transition for them as smooth as possible. It also aims to keep their standard of living as close to that of the marriage as possible. When your future relationship with your children is at stake, make sure you’re represented by an aggressive attorney that is willing to fight in court to get you the best result. Contact Massachusetts Child Custody Lawyer Bill Farias for a CONSULTATION at (508) 675-0464 or submit the contact form on this page.

The more common child-custody issues stemming from divorce are the following:

  1. Where will the children live?
  2. With whom will they live?
  3. Who will be making decisions about the children?
  4. How will finances for the children be arranged?
  5. What will the child visitation schedule be?

The courts encourage parents to work cooperatively on caring for the children. This can be a difficult task given the animosity that often ferments from separation and/or divorce. Both parents are expected to foster the child’s relationship with the other, so the preference is for parents to agree on an arrangement; however, if they can’t, the court will make the decision.

Different Types of Child Custody

Legal Custody:

It’s common for the court to order joint legal custody of the children. Absent a significant issue impacting the children’s well-being, the court prefers that both parents be actively involved in the children’s lives. The parent(s) with legal custody makes all major decisions for the children, including those related to medical care and schooling.

Physical Custody:

Physical custody determines the primary caregiver, the parent the children will live with. To increase stability, courts usually award sole physical custody to only one parent; joint physical custody is much less common than joint legal custody because the lack of a primary home is generally too disruptive for the children. Also, if there are siblings, courts make an effort to keep them together. For visitation, barring a significant concern impacting the children’s well-being, the non-custodial parent has a right to visits, and they’re usually arranged between the parties. However, if there are concerns about the visiting parent, the court may order that visitation is supervised.

Custody Determination

The legal standard is “best interest:” the court will order what’s in the “best interest” of the child, taking into considerations a number of factors. The decisions are theoretically gender-neutral, so if the father’s more fit, he should get custody. However, in practice, the mother usually gets sole physical custody because the factors usually weigh in her favor. Income is generally not a significant consideration because child support will make up for any difference.

Factors

  1. Best Interest
  2. less disruption
  3. meeting child’s needs
  4. child’s relationship with parents
  5. family relations
  6. school
  7. community
  8. history of abuse
  9. abandonment
  10. drug use
  11. who has been the primary caretaker (medical appointments, food, school, clothing, sports, time spent with the child, knowledge of child’s friends)

Representation for the Child

Under G.L. c. 215 sec. 56A, the court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to investigate the facts of a case and represent the child’s interest. The appointed person is usually a professional, such as a psychologist, who through questioning and/or periods of observation does a thorough assessment of the involved individuals and their relationships, and files a written report with the court.

Modification of Child Custody

Under G.L. c. 208 sec. 28, child custody judgment can be modified upon the showing of a “material and substantial change of circumstances,” and that a change in custody is in the “best interest” of the child.

Child custody is an important determination in a divorce proceeding. Make sure you have a skilled, aggressive attorney that will get you the best result. Contact Massachusetts Child Custody Lawyer Bill Farias for a CONSULTATION at (508) 675-0464 or submit the contact form on this page.

Click here for more information on Massachusetts Child Custody.

Child Custody: custody, parenting time – no need for breakdown

If you’re going through a divorce or separation and have children, navigating child custody and parenting time can be particularly challenging.

In this section, we’ve compiled educational material and resources that cover topics such as legal custody, physical custody, shared custody, GALs, when children have a say in where they live, factors considered by courts when determining custody and parenting time, and how to develop a parenting plan that works for you and your family.

By familiarizing yourself with this information, you can approach this difficult process with greater confidence and ensure that your children’s needs are always at the forefront of your decisions.

FAQs

Does 50/50 custody result in child support?

Yes, 50/50 custody may still require a child support payment. In a shared physical custody arrangement (50/50), child support is calculated with running the calculation first with one parent as the primary caretaker, then with the other parent as the primary caretaker. You then subtract the smaller number from the larger, and the difference is the presumptive child support amount the higher earning parent will pay the other.

What is 60/40 child custody?

Do I have to pay child support if I have joint custody?

What is 70/30 child custody?

Do mothers usually get full custody?

What percentage of fathers have custody?

Is it kidnapping if there is no custody order?

Can a police officer enforce a child custody order?

Removal: Can a mother leave the state with a child without the consent of the father?

How does child custody work in MA?

How long does it take to get full custody of your child in MA?

How to get temporary custody of my child in MA?

How does the judge decide who should get custody?

Can a custody agreement be changed? How?

What Questions should I ask a lawyer in a custody case?

Can you talk about your recent child custody case as an example?

 

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