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Massachusetts Domestic Violence Questions & Answers
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 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: What can i do to help my boyfriend after my daughter made false assault and battery charges on her stepfather?

She said that he punched and kneed her in the face for not cleaning the room i was there the whole time but i was never really question on by dcf not the police she had no injuries consistent with that hes been in her life for a long time we all live together.

Joseph B. Simons
Joseph B. Simons answered on Aug 23, 2020

The best thing you can do for your boyfriend is to make sure he has an excellent criminal defense attorney. Domestic violence charges - probably "assault and battery on a family or household member" - are prosecuted quite harshly in Massachusetts. It sounds like you will make a good... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: I have to appear for a pretrial for domestic violence and I'm not sure what to say or do.

My wife and I were under a lot of stress and ended up in an argument. While I was sitting on the couch she hit me in the head and so I pushed her. She ended up tripping on a dog bowl and falling down. She was so angry she called 911, told them I pushed her, then hung up refusing to answer when they... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Aug 12, 2020

YOU should not handle the pretrial hearing alone. You really need to have a lawyer and gget one if the COurt willnot give you one. Your arraignment signifies to you that the beginning of a CRIMINAL PROCESS. Neither you nor your wife control the criminal process or the result. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What are my options at virtual mediation? Child wants to stay with me and it is much safer here anyway.

High-conflict divorce and custody dispute, with ex having a lifelong history of mental illness diagnoses and treatments. Divorce and custody arrangement finalized in a previous state of residence where she still resides. Child is currently with me in MA and has been since the start of the pandemic.... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 16, 2020

Because the child has not been living in Massachusetts for at least 6 months, our Probate Courts do not yet have jurisdiction over custody and visitation as the former state of residence still is the home state until then. However, if there is a safety concern about the child going to the other... Read more »

Q: How do I go about filing an appeal on DCF? I am involved in case on which I am NOT the supported person of neglect.

Domestic violence with my children's father, in which I am the victim, have landed DCF in my life for the third time.

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

This is actually an area of specialization. However, briefly, if you are within 30 days of the supported finding of abuse or neglect you can ask for a fair hearing and if the finding is adverse at the fair hearing, then the Superior Court would be involved if an appropriate appeal of the hearing... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Constitutional Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: How would I go about filing a lawsuit for parental alienation against my daughter's father and his wife?

Also, how would I find out if my daughter has a lawyer? Any information you can give is greatly appreciated. What steps should I take? I haven't seen her since February when we had a wonderful relationship. I already proved drug allegations to be false in court. They are making false... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 4, 2020

Is there a Modification petition pending? Has your visitation been limited by any Court Order? If not you may file a Modification Complaint of your own if the circumstances have changed materailly since your prior orders. You could check the docket on line to see whether counsel for the child was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a restraining order against my husband in Massachusetts. Can I relocate to New Hampshire with our son?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Apr 15, 2020

Maybe. If you have been to any Probate & Family Court with your child then MA has jurisdiction ( Paternity action, child support action, divorce) you can't leave the state without permission from the Probate COurt. If you do it anyway, you may be ordered to do all the riving so the other... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Health Care Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Will the Judge in Family Probate, still require me to take a drug test if I prove I'm being falsely accused?

My daughter's father is falsely accusing me of using drugs and/or improperly using drugs. He's requesting I take a hair follicle test but I have evidence to prove that. How would I go about filing for slander, disobeying court orders and being falsely accused? Also, I entered a... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 12, 2020

Usually random drug screens through the Court's probation department provider would be ordered where there is such an accusation. If you are willing to do so you can also ask the Court to have father so screened. The focus should be on establishing that you are not abusing drugs and are able... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Will my sons father do jail time for a second time for a second offense against me in Massachusetts?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Feb 15, 2020

Your question just cannot be answered as it has too little factual information. Was he on probation for the 1st when the 2d happened? are you on board with the prosecution or not planning to testify? Are there photos/medical/hospital reports? Generally the more serious any injury impacts the case... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Domestic Violence and Libel & Slander for Massachusetts on
Q: Lots of resources for physical abuse, but what options do I have for psychological / legal abuse, slander & harassment?

Physical abuse victims have many resources, but what about those being harassed, slandered, stalked & tormented by a malicious sociopath? Sociopaths strategically execute their schemes covertly, staying “under the radar” which keeps them just inside the law so they avoid exposure &... Read more »

William Barabino
William Barabino answered on Feb 7, 2020

Dear Questioner,

Thank you for your question.

Without knowing more specifics about your situation, I cannot give you direct legal guidance, but I would say that one option that may be available to you in Massachusetts is obtaining a Chapter 258A or Harassment Prevention order....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Boyfriend is in litigation with an old business partner/girlfriend. She was granted an order of protection against him.

FB still showed him in a relationship with their original anniversary date. Her name did not show as they were no longer friends. He thought he could just update the anniversary date to when we met, which he did. For some reason FB tagged her in it & updated the relationship status as them... Read more »

William D. Kickham Esq.
William D. Kickham Esq. answered on Sep 16, 2019

I'm surprised that your question says that "His attorneys are making it sound like he has no chance". It's not clear to me if those attorneys are licensed in AZ or MA, but my professional opinion - based on the information you've provided above - is that the person has a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Mental Anguish

I am a female who was involved in an abusive relationship for 7 months in Massachusetts in 2012. Because of the relationship I became severely mentally ill and am still ill and receiving Social Security disability. I've been unable to work full time since 2013. Would I be able to file a... Read more »

Karen Piso Nadeau
Karen Piso Nadeau answered on Aug 14, 2019

I am sorry for your terrible situation. I assume this abuse happened while you were age 18 or over. Unfortunately, I believe the statute of limitations would bar any claims you may have. Typically, you have three years from the time of the incident to bring a lawsuit. The time has likely passed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Did husband violate restraining order by locking me out of our buisness banking account and preventing doing my job?Ma.

I live in Massachusetts. Iam about to file for divorce.he is narcissist sociopath/bipolar (reason for restraining order w/o too much detail)

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Aug 1, 2019

Whether he is in violation depends on the wording on the restraining order, and what is said regarding the business. If it was silent as to the business address then he can be there. If it said he could not go to the business property and whatever he did was online, he is probably OK. Once a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: what do i do in regards to getting 70/30 (70 me 30 him) custody of daughter and father is abusive

My daughters father is very ignorant towards me and refused to let me have my daughter on a court ordered visit and is using full custody to tell me when I can see my daughter

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 20, 2019

It sounds like there is a Contempt of a visitation order in which case you can file a Contempt Complaint at the Court where the adjudication of Paternity or Custody and Support Complaint Orders were issued from.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does the domestic violence victim have the right to meet with a judge to file a legal complaint against their spouse?

Good friend in Massachusetts is the spouse and husband in a domestic violent relationship. Recently asked for divorce in a 22 yr marriage, 4 kids (1 left in the house age 13) and the spouse is physically and emotionally abused. Recently unemployed, and wife does not work. Since asking for... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Apr 28, 2019

No- he does not have any right to meet with a judge privately if that is what you mean. He also needs to proceed very carefully documenting the wifes abuse and outbursts too as in 2 seconds she will turn it around on him and claim he has abused her. And it is likely when a woman claims abuse that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: How deep do dv defense lawyers look into witnesses, current employment, detailed background, credit checks?

How far into the witness do you look and do you share any details from those three with your clients?

Such as

places of work

Credit history or report

Detailed background information like previous addresses or anything like that

Dakota Martin
Dakota Martin answered on Apr 4, 2019

DV as in domestic violence? It really depends on how serious the case is. In many cases, the search is simply asking the court to run a witness's record. No record, no further search. If the accused knows areas that should be investigated, defense attorneys have a duty to investigate... or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Is a R.I Family Court Judge obligated to hear a child abuse case ?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Feb 26, 2019

Whether RI is required to hear it is a question of RI law and procedure, and you have posted to Massachusetts lawyers.

However, if this were a MA case the answer is no- not necessarily. The Court would hear cases brought in front of it by DCF or the District Attorney as a matter of course....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: I am going through a divorce. I can't afford a lawyer or qualify for a free one I am 61 years old. Do I need a lawyer?

Of course no children. No home. Only tax debt. $20,000. I qualify for tax relief, he does not. Is this debt automatically split 50/50?

The document has alimony checked off.

We are both on disability and currently earn about the same. I am in the apartment and paying all the bills.... Read more »

Christine G. DeBernardis
Christine G. DeBernardis answered on Jan 31, 2019

You can certainly proceed without counsel. If you cannot afford an attorney, check with your local court to see if they have an "attorney for the day" program or legal aid to assist.

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