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Massachusetts Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I have full custody of my child but she visits her mom on the weekends do I need her permission to move out of state

My child is 12 now I've had custody since 2014 mom lost custody for not complying with dcf. I would like to move out of state and change her visitations to the summers every other holiday and school vacation is this possible?

Kim Carnevale
Kim Carnevale answered on Oct 12, 2021

Even though you have custody as a result of a DCF case, you would still need to get the permission of the Probate and Family court before you could move out of state with your child if MA removal laws apply. MA law requires you to get permission-

IF your child was born in MA or has lived...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a lawyer have to file a notice of appearance before a court date?

Can someone just show up to court with a lawyer that they previously did not have?

Anthony C. Adamopoulos
Anthony C. Adamopoulos answered on Sep 21, 2021

Yes.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a lawyer have to file a notice of appearance before a court date?

Can someone just show up to court with a lawyer that they previously did not have?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 21, 2021

Basically you can hire counsel as long as you find one who will take your case. Occasionally counsel is brought in late in the proceedings and asks for a Continuance which the Court can allow. This may be the concern you have- delay of the proceedings. Occasionally counsel brought in may have a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a reliquish of rights go I to affect the day it was signed. It was done in front of a notary public and witnesses

It is stamped, signed and dated and filed into court

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 15, 2021

It has to be filed with the Court and acted upon to take effect. If you have second thoughts you really should have counsel represent you!!

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I talk to my sons doctors/providers about his treatment while emergency temporary custody is with his grandparents?

I was just informed that my sons paternal grandparents filed, and were granted, emergency temporary custody of my son while I was receiving inpatient treatment for my mental health. I also just learned he has been hospitalized for suicidal ideation, which I was not informed of at all. I have always... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 14, 2021

It appears that you will need legal representation in a guardianship dispute and you can file a Motion for appointment of counsel by the Court if you are indigent. If you are not indigent then you should engage counsel once you are able to do so. It appears that you will need to take care of your... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: My mother has court ordered visits of one of my daughters, with the rise of Covid again, I'm not comfortable with it

They have 2 grown children who also live in MA and visit them almost daily, but my mother lives in RI. They aren't cautious, but I don't want to be held in contempt. I've offered video calls and outdoor visits, they won't budge. How do I keep my foot down?

Kimberly Erwin
Kimberly Erwin answered on Sep 12, 2021

I don’t know that you can. If the court order was entered after the start of the pandemic, you most likely need to allow visits. If it was entered previous to the pandemic, I would suggest requesting masks (as well as your other requests) be worn in writing. If they refuse, I would document the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Our best friend (49) had a child last year. She asked us to sign an emergency guardian proxy. Should we?

The child is now 1 year old. Our friend is 49 and her boyfriend is 53. They are currently together but he was divorced twice. They are asking me and my wife to sign a guardianship proxy. Should we? What is the risk to us?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 7, 2021

Are you indicating that you are not willing to serve as the child's guardian if needed to fulfil the role? If so you would need to make that clear to the parents so that they can have others in place. In Massachusetts there is a distinction between guardianship and conservatorship as the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Civil Rights and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: What do I do if I’m paying child support and being denied visitation rights to my daughter
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 3, 2021

If you have a visitation order or a Judgment that states the terms of visitation and are being denied visitation , then there appear to be grounds for a Contempt action unless there is something happening which is inimical to the child's best interests in which case the custodial parent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: am I entitled to half our house if bought 5 months before wedding?

We have been a couple for 20 years, married 14 years. We lived together for 5 years prior to buying a house 5 months before our wedding. The house was initially in his name because he had better credit at the time. We refinanced recently and I am secondary on the mortgage. Am I entitled to half?

Anthony C. Adamopoulos
Anthony C. Adamopoulos answered on Aug 26, 2021

Maybe, it depends on all of the factors surrounding your divorce and living together prior to marriage. The Judge must consider about 15 factors then decide what an equitable division of all the assets would be.

You want to consult with an experience divorce attorney who will review the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: I am looking for a pro bono lawyer to represent my 15 year old. She would like to live with me full time. Thank you

About three years ago my ex husband suffered three ischemic strokes which altered him. I was a stay at home mom for 13 years and one day come home to being kicked out, he retained a lawyer, I was left powerless. I lost custody of my kids after a long battle I couldnt win. It took a long emotional... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 21, 2021

Since your 15 year old has been with you and apparently wants to stay with you , this is a Modification of custody complaint which you would be bringing. At 15 your child would have a voice about her primary residence and would still have visitation with father. It is unfortunate that you have not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: I am in a custody battle, with potential trial in August. My fiance and I are getting married

I left my ex when he was cheating again and he then moved in, knocked up and married the other woman. 50/50 verbal agreement was working the best possible. 1 year later I took my ex to court because he began withholding our children from me when I told him I was in a serious relationship. We have a... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 9, 2021

So, domestic abuse is a serious allegation and you have not stated the outcome of the charge(s) either. The Court would need to find that there is no risk to the children from being around this individual despite your romantic attachment and the Court could potentially grant father custody. Having... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Can family judges be changed? Are children supposed to be removed when their parent has a restraining order on them?

I've had the same biased judge since 2013 who is never on my side despite the evidence. I filed an ex parte hearing due to my 15 year old daughter's father almost killing his wife by strangulation. The wife has a restraining order on him. I arrived with police to witness the father, wife,... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 7, 2021

The Court assigns the Judges usually by docket number and unless there is a reason for the Judge to recuse, it is very difficult to change the Judge assigned. If your 15 year old is unsafe or unhappy due to what is occurring with her father and his household, then you can seek a Modification and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: The father of my child doesn't pay child support and he is also not on the birth certificate.

He has never met his child and we have had zero contact. I am just curious as to what some of my options might be going forward.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 21, 2021

You can commence a Paternity action and seek support orders; both parties have the duty to support their child and if there are public benefits involved, the government has the ability to go forward to seek paternity adjudication regardless of whether you are interested in pursuing the matter.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: If my custody agreement doesn’t have a specific pick up time listed for vaca can I ask to have my child at 5am

There isn’t a time listed but date is approved.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 15, 2021

So if this is an unusual time for pick up for regular visitation then the other party may not agree to provide the child at that hour.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: Family/Divorce: Hi, I am finalizing divorce in Canada but we are both Americans. Can my ex file for divorce in US?

How to protect my parenting rights agreed on if in different jurisdiction?

We are relocating to US, different states!

Thanks

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 4, 2021

If the children were not living in Massachusetts for the last 6 months or more, Massachusetts would not have jurisdiction of the children unless the parties agree or agreed that Massachusetts would have jurisdiction .

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: If divorced parents were approved to withhold child support, can a support order be modified saying they did not pay?

If there is a uniform support order, and divorce was mediated and both parents waived having one pay child support, with notations by the Judge in the order, can another person modify the order stating that the parent didn't ever pay child support? The parent who supported is deceased.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 2, 2021

This is a very confusing question , particularly if a Modification is being sought against an estate? If there is not an order of child support, is there an order relative to life insurance?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: my boyfriend is 19 and he is having a hard time with his mom who wants to send him back to PR with his dad can he decide

his mom wants to send him to his father whom did not treat him well as a child, he is 19 going to 20 in june will he have a day in this?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 13, 2021

Unless he is under guardianship due to disability, he is an adult and can live elsewhere.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a child request a custody change if they feel they are being mentally abused?

I have split parents, they have been divorced since I was 5. My mother has been abusing me mentally. I know this always gets over looked as the child overreacting but this isn’t some joke. My parents have equal custody, can I request to live with my good parent?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 8, 2021

If you are being mentally abused, have you told a Mandated Reporter such as a pediatrician , social worker, mental health counselor, psychologist, or school guidance counselor or school official or DCF hotline # about this matter and the underlying facts which constitute mental abuse? Is the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: My sister adopted my daughter because dcyf involvement five years ago. Today me and her want to reverse it. Any help

We want my child back with me we are looking for a lawyer to help us reverse it.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 8, 2021

This would probably be a new adoption petition. An adoption practitioner can go over all of your unique facts.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my son's biological dad go to court for rights and visitation if he isn't in my son's birth certificate?

He never wanted the baby, then i got married and my husband recognized my son as his own, so legally my husband is my son's dad.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Apr 2, 2021

If by legally you mean that your husband adopted your son and your husband's name is on the birth certificate, I don't think the biological father can do anything because he would have been notified about the adoption. If your husband isn't on the birth certificate then the... Read more »

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