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Massachusetts Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Modification of child custody and child support

Can I modify child custody and support if I went from 5 overnights to 7 overnights plus taking them till 7 at night 4 other nights? And have my kids all day on Sunday while my ex is at work. Yea he only days. Don’t see them are tuesdays and every other Saturday, other then that they are with m... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on May 17, 2022

It sounds like you have a good argument for modification. If you think your ex will retaliate, just be sure you really want to kick the hornet's nest. If your kids are doing well with the current arrangement, it may be worth it to suck it up even though you feel she is taking advantage of you.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Abusive father looking for custody and aggressive parenting plan dictating the entire year.I object.

Unwed mother child has lived with me since birth. Father visits but is psychologically abusive, and traumatizing to our daughter, complying with my daughters wishes I told him to stay away and give her a mental break and allow me to get her into therapy. At first he agreed begrudgingly then got... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 16, 2022

Do you have guardianship over the minor child? Over your daughter? The proceedings before the Court now are they paternity or guardianship? It would be a good idea to clarify your question and repost same or to discuss with an attorney who practices Family Law.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: If a parent has lost all custody due to a restraining order, is that parent responsible for their half of child costs

Parent has lost all custody due to a restraining order being pulled against her and her boyfriend by myself, on behalf of our child. In our modified agreement/judgment prior to the restraining order, she was responsible for half of the cost of childcare, medical bills (I pay for insurance by my own... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 9, 2022

The Financial Orders are still existing and are in effect unless modified or vacated which they apparently have not been. The failure to comply entitles you to bring a Contempt action.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a summons have to be served in person?

Can a summons be left inside a mailbox while you are not home. The summons says it was hand delivered and the other attorney certified she hand delivered it to me. This is in the state of Massachusetts.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 29, 2022

So a summons for a divorce complaint is distinctive from other summonses and you have not specified the item service was attempted of. Once a case has been commenced notice can be served at the party's last known address.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I file for child support for my 18 year old high school student with severe mental illness

My daughter has lived with me full time for 4 years. My ex had sole custody of her legally. He hardly gave me any financial support. Since she has turned 18 he refused to help with her. She is still in high school and has a severe mental illness. I have tried taking him to court about a year ago... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 25, 2022

So the child has not graduated from high school and may have special needs also. There should be child support in accordance with the child support guidelines and you may need to once the child has completed high school seek contribution for the child's continued care via equity petition... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: have full custody of 2 of my children, they have been staying with their father for last 60 day, does he pay me still

have full custody of 2 of my children, they have been staying with their father for last 60 day, does he pay me still

Per judge on 3/18 and DCF I still have 100% custody nothing ever changed

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 20, 2022

Until the order or Judgment is modified by the Court it is still in effect.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: My Dcf worker said that in order to close my Dcf case, they have to verify with my Children’s doctors and school.

Every visit he has tried to get me to sign a release of information. Today he asked for verbal consent. Every single time I said no. I want to keep Dcf separate with all entities and don’t want my Children’s doctors or school to know about their Dcf case. Is this true? They have to speak with... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 15, 2022

Schools and doctors have mandated reporter requirements if abuse or neglect is suspected. The DCF is the agency to whom they would report concerns . The DCF would investigate whether there is a supported claim and take action accordingly. Lack of cooperation usually does not reflect well.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a woman put the last name of a man she is not married to on her child's birth certificate if she is still married?

My male relative (D) is having a child with a woman (S) who is separated from her husband (K) but still legally married. Can D legally put his last name on the child's birth certificate even though S and K have not finalized their divorce?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 3, 2022

The presumption is that the child is born of the marriage, but the parties can agree that the child is not of the parties along with the biological father. The prospect of paying for a child not his own is usually an inducement to cooperation by husband, but what is bio father's willingness...

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody and Military Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I apply for benefits and support to move out of the marital home with the kids before I file for divorce?

I am financially dependent on my husband. I want to leave. I have $500 SSDI a month. He is military active duty but stationed close by. We have two minor children.

Philip D. Cave
Philip D. Cave answered on Feb 22, 2022

If he is military, he is required by military law to "support his dependents."

Should you move out and you do not have a signed separation agreement, the military mandates that he must pay you a portion of his pay and allowances as support for you and the children pending the...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I get help writing a proper pre-trial memorandum & a lawyer to attend a scheduled pre-trial date with me?

I just need someone to hear me out, please. I need help.

Anthony C. Adamopoulos
Anthony C. Adamopoulos answered on Feb 7, 2022

Use an LAR attorney. Below is a full explanation of how it works. It gives you an opportunity to hire an attorney for just one or two things. Check it out at:

https://divorcingoptions.com/Handouts/Limited_Representation_PDF_Handout_Version.pdf

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Do i need a discovery if I am representing myself in family court?

I am trying to gain full legal and physical custody of my two kids but will be representing myself with the documents I have.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 18, 2022

You are not required to conduct discovery, but it is advisable in order to obtain information which may be evidence at the trial of this matter.

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: What can i do is the father violated court orders?

He has supervised visitation at his mother house and his mother is supposed to supervise him on all three days that he has. I texted his mother to confirm to see he was at the home for his visitation but she never text me back i got worried and i check on my daughter ipad location and she wasn’t... Read more »

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Jan 9, 2022

You should have the police do a wellness check at the grandmother's home and they would document that the child wasn't there. And/or you could also have them do a wellness check at the girlfriend's house to confirm the child is there and who is present. You should also take... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have to provide information to my child’s father if he hasn’t been in their life for over 6years?

My child’s father has not been in their life for over 6years. During that time I have had them full time with no help from him in any way. He does not pay any child support. He does call about once a month. Recently he has been asking for their information everything from school/medical records... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 31, 2021

There sounds like a lack of relationship over a lengthy period of time and the Court is sensitive to the effect of father's suddenly attempting to regain contact where there had been no regularity. Asking for contact information about other people is indeed odd and really not your information... Read more »

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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...
Read more »

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 »

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