Q: What are the steps and requirements needed to terminate my son's father's parental rights in Massachusetts?
My son is 15 months old, and his father has made no effort to see him or even ask how he's doing since I left him when my son was less than 3 months old. I've reached out multiple times with opportunities for visits with no response from him. He has my facebook blocked and has a new number so the only way to attempt to reach him is via Instagram or mail. He recently got indicted for trafficking heroin by a grand jury. He's supposed to be sentenced in about 2 weeks. He has never given me support of any kind, he just continues to abuse drugs/alcohol and lay in bed.
A: If you were divorced did you have a reference to custody and visitation in the agreement or in the Judgment post trial? If this is an unmarried parents Judgment of paternity or custody and support, then the issue of what custody there is would be addressed in that agreement and Judgment. You would need to file a Modification Petition and seek an Emergency Order to have the Court enter orders terminating/suspending visitation, and ,if applicable, legal custody and if father is trying to see the child under the circumstances you allege the Court would want to be convinced that he is sober for a lengthy period of time after he serves sentence before granting visitation, including various corroboration of his sobriety and program participation.
A: You can file for custody and child support in Court in MA. See: https://www.mass.gov/guides/filing-for-child-custody-or-parenting-time-in-massachusetts
More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AliEsq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, WA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.