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Massachusetts Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Public Benefits for Massachusetts on
Q: I was given custody of non biological child by the father,whom had full custody.what do I do next,if there's anything?

I have been already help raise this child for 10 yrs his father recently received full custody of him due to other biological parent did not respond to letters or show up at court,they awarded him full custody. Now he has gone to jail and gave me full custody rights to his son. The paperwork is... Read more »

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

You question is a bit shy on the procedural background. So there should be a Guardianship of Minor Petition and Petition for appointment as Temporary Guardian. Has that occurred? Otherwise has the DCF commenced a care and protection case in the district court? It sounds like adoption proceedings... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: How can I prove abandonment of child and terminate rights of biological father? He's been gone over 4 years.

My now husband wants to adopt. Bio Father has been in and out of jail over last 10 years for years at a time. Never paid child support.. We live in Massachusetts.

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

I take it you have already explored whether he would voluntarily consent to adoption by stepfather? This is the easiest method to proceed. Otherwise there would need to be either a default on a petition or a trial establishing unfitness of bio father with an adjudication.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a joint custodial parent veto a particular child therapist?

I share joint 50/50 legal custody of my 5 yr old child w my ex. Our agreement was filed w the court in 2017. My ex would like a therapist (who has not yet met our child but has shown bias against me as a non-birth mom) to start seeing our child every other week for therapy. Our current child... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 24, 2021

You should request a therapist referral from the provider who is leaving for a successor therapist. Both parents should have input for the new provider. If the other parent refuses and there is a proceeding pending or if there is not a proceeding one would need to be brought- for Modification... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Public Benefits for Massachusetts on
Q: Can she apply for child support in a state she’s lived for 2 months?

Me & and the mother of my child are from MA. I’ve been in Florida for 4 years. She kept my child from me for 2 years, with false restraining orders etc (which I don’t know how that’s legal). She decided to get on good terms with me when her false accusations expired. She moved down here... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 24, 2021

It sounds like Massachusetts has a lot of contacts with the parties and the child for child support orders, although if the child was only back in Massachusetts for 2 months custodial non-monetary issues would be appropriate in Florida as the home state. Was there a paternity or Custody and Support... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: unable to see evidence before trial.

I recently had a trial for custody and ended up loosing based on false information. My ex, who abused me utilized DCF to hurt me. the power of DCF is so strong that regardless of my therapist saying: "I never seen anything like it. The poor girl had no chance no matter what she did." My... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 11, 2021

It is likely that an appeal would not be successful as the judge is the fact finder and assesses credibility. It is possible that remaining in an abusive relationship was neglectful. You do not state whether you have any issues or what the DCF found as a result of their involvement with your family... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: What do you file in response to a counter claim for child custody and parenting time?

My fiancé filed a complaint for child custody and parenting time. The child's mother filed a counter claim as well as a proposed parenting plan to this. What do we file in response as an "answer" to her counter claim and parenting plan? I cannot find anything online that would give... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 31, 2020

Yes, it is called an Answer to Counterclaim and denying the individual allegations is the first step.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My fiancé’s ex-partner filed a counter claim to him filing a child custody complaint. Can we also file a counter claim?

We can’t currently afford a lawyer but filed a custody complaint because my fiancé had the child 80% of the time up until two years ago when the child started school. She promptly decided she was going to have the child 80% and told him that he was allowed every other weekend. It has affected... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 29, 2020

Was there a prior paternity action or acknowledgment ? Is the MDOR involved ? Is DCF involved? If your fiance has filed a custody and support complaint and received a counterclaim I am unsure of what other action you are contemplating.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Nightly call clause is not specific. Can we be held in contempt for not making call? Massachusetts

Clause- “while child is of young age and unable to contact other parent without assistance of custodial parent, the partIes shall engage in a nightly telephone call to allow the child to allow the child to communicate with noncustodial parent”.

This was implemented when child was 3. Dad... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 29, 2020

6 is a young age and there is potential for a Contempt Complaint to be brought against you for not making the calls occur .

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Could I lose custody of my child from a previous marriage because of a restraining order against my current spouse

I had filed a restraining order against my wife which was dissolved at the 10 day hearing. Since then my wife and I are working on our relationship. We are both in individual counseling and we are now both in couples counseling to try to mend our relationship and family. My dilemma is with my... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 15, 2020

So it appears that your wife has demonstrated concerning conduct sufficient for you to obtain a restraining order. You have not stated whether the child was present during the precipitating incident and the child's safety and well-being and best interests are paramount. Your wife's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: I'm looking for legal help for my divorce.

I have a complicated situation with a seven year old, don't have job, and my husband doesn't want the divorce we have been separated for 4 years. I was hoping you could help me and point me in the right direction.

Thank you in advance,

Maria

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 6, 2020

So, depending upon your financial circumstances the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association may be able to assist you. If your husband has income and assets which are sufficient, the Probate Court can order him to pay toward your counsel fees.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I stop my ex from starting a large expense cost (braces) until we agree on a payment plan with the orthodontist?

My teen recently went to live with my ex (the teen's choice) but we both have 50/50 legal. We share uninsured medicals and I technically would have to reimburse him in 30 days. He makes a lot more money than me, has a two income family, and plans on making a lump sum payment. He won't... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 5, 2020

So, was there a recent Modification of Custody and Support? If you just agreed to this division and did not list orthodontia as an extraordinary expense to be agreed upon this murkies up the waters. It can be considered an extraordinary or unnecessary expense by some Judges. Are you sure you cannot... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: good afternoon. I have a question concerning the legality of Massachusetts DOR and the collection of child support.

i filed a complaint for modification and custody in 2013. i asked the court to set my child support arrearage in my pleadings. Both the other parent and Mass dor were served. I received Judgement on 5/2013. per agreement i owed $10000.00 child support. Dor now states I owe mother 10,000 and THEM... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 1, 2020

You will need to have a copy of the Judgment of arrears to provide to the DOR and

have confirmation that mother is receiving support ( and arrears ) through the DOR and provide

your print out from DOR handy and ready to discuss with them. If there are no new arrears then...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Father has full custody but drops my daughter off and leaves her for months at a time without helping me and mother pays

I wonder what can she do about this.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 28, 2020

You need a Modification of Custody and Child Support Complaint/proceeding and this should be done based upon the last Judgment or Orders issued by whatever Court is involved.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: I need a affordable child custody attorney I am trying to get custody of my 10 yr old son hes being abused and neglected

I understand how my child is and how he acts and listens to me

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 23, 2020

If you are in the Bronx and the child is living in New York you will need an attorney in New York as soon as possible.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: If my mom is in jail can a friend of mine get guardianship of me

I am 16 my mom left me in the care of a relative without birth certificate or social security card and I have been out of school for a year and am currently living with a friend who is filing for guardianship and feel unsafe goin back to my mom. How long will this process take and can or will they... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 21, 2020

If the Court finds the petitioner for guardianship to be suitable and in your best interest after first having the petitioner appointed temporarily usually there would then be a trial date for appointment of a permanent guardian for you until age 18. Sometimes the parent(s) assent to temporary or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can your child support payments be lowered if you have another child with new spouse?(Massachusetts)
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 28, 2020

It can be used as a defense to the request for an increase in child support but not to lower an existing child support order.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Why doesn't MA take parental alienation seriously?

I have exhausted all options I could think to do. Modifications, motions, emergency motions, DCF reports, attempted to have a GAL appointed, ARC attorney only telling court her wishes. Nobody sees an issue with this. A good relationship to a nonexistent one. The hate and anger coming from my child... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 27, 2020

Not sure what you are trying to do at this point. If counseling is ordered then you should comply with the Court's Order. Is there a review hearing date? If so you will need to report that counseling has not gone well and are concerned that there should be separate individual counseling for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi need help with Child custody for my daughter

Hi, I need with a child custody for my daughter Rosalie. She is 7. Her father just served me papers for custody and parenting visits. I'm planning on moving out of state and i want to do things legally. I also want to do what the best interest of my daughter. Her dad doesn't pay child... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 27, 2020

There is a Public on-line Probate & Family Court docket search you can do to check the status of your case Its unclear what your case was- divorce, paternity, etc. Was the MDOR /CSE involved in obtaining child support orders? if yes, then follow up with the MDOR. If not, you can seek an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Where can I find a pro bono lawyer for child custody in Taunton, MA?

Parental alienation. Emotional and psychological abuse. Gaslighting. I'm getting absolutely nowhere in court.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 27, 2020

You can check with the local Bar Associations- I believe Bristol is your county.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: What to do when a custody issue isn't taken seriously by the court?

Simple. My daughter and I had a great relationship 6 months ago to absolutely nothing. The court has a mountain of evidence proving emotional and psychologically abuse.

The ARC attorney is only sharing my daughter's wishes. I filed motions, emergency motions, contempt actions as well... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 26, 2020

Has your case gone to trial or is it at the temporary orders stage? Temporary orders can be changed as circumstances change ,so although there is an Interlocutory appeal process generally cases are appealed that have gone to Judgment and there are rules of procedure that must be promptly followed... Read more »

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