Massachusetts Child Custody Questions & Answers

Q: Im a dad my 12 year old daughter has been hit with her phone,punched repeatedly is this enough for me to get an attorney

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Apr 2, 2019
Joshua H Bearce's answer
This question cannot be fully answered without more information. If there are allegations of physical abuse, and she does not want to live with her Mother, then you can file a complaint for modification with the Court seeking to obtain custody of her. I would suggest you also file a motion for the appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem to ascertain the parenting plan that it is your daughter's best interests. The GAL will likely interview your daughter and if she states she wants to live with...

Q: We have sole custody of my husbands daughter. We live in Massachusetts. She is going to another state for a week for

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Apr 1, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
On the civil side there would be an action for Contempt and a capias would issue and a writ of habeas corpus to return the child besides kidnapping which is federal so this would be very serious and visitation would be lost as a result.

Q: If my child’s mother took him to pa and never told me and I haven’t seen my child in over 2years , how can I go bout it?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 26, 2019
Lissa McKinney's answer
This is tricky because you waited on all your rights to address it. IF you had taken action she could have been prevented from taking the child out of state. Have you been adjudicated the Father via a signed birth certificate or a paternity action? If not you will have to proceed in the Court with jurisdiction over where she is living now. The circumstances between you might matter. Did she have a restraining order? was she given sole legal and physical custody? were you in jail and not...

Q: Ex-Husband is angry because a boyfriend was introduced to the kids. He is now threatening me via continual texts etc.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
If the relationship is stable with your boyfriend and he is a suitable individual, it is ok to introduce him to your children. Sometimes there is an objection as to the boyfriend due to details about his past or present which may raise legitimate concerns, but you have not indicated that he has any issues. Also, sometimes there is a situation where the children and boyfriend do not interact well or the children are having problems adjusting to changes since the divorce and could include your...

Q: can custody be changed before a court hearing if all parties agree?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Mar 7, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
Unless there is some concern about whether the child's safety or well-being would be affected adversely by implementing an agreement for custody prior to the hearing date, it is generally acceptable. Sometimes, in fact, it is a wise idea to try on the new living arrangement for size to see how things work for the parties and the child so that if things do not work out the issue can be addressed on the Court date.

Q: I was told to bring $500 to my next hearing for child support but the money I was relying on, was taking from the state

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Answered on Feb 22, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
Was the State taking the moneys for arrears in child support? Or did you owe the state otherwise? If it was not taken for child support , you will need to obtain the money from family or friends or you will be taken into custody/jail as the Court has made a finding that you can pay the support. If you are not seeing your child only because of mother's withholding visits due to your non-support, this is not acceptable and you can file your Contempt Complaint if she has violated a Court Order,...

Q: Recently seperated from sons father, I will be looking for place. do I have the legal right to just move my son with me?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Feb 22, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
You have not stated whether there was any Order of the Probate Court involved so far, so it is difficult to answer satisfactorily except that if there are no current Court Orders then with the mother of a child born of unmarried parents presumptively mother has sole legal and physical custody. However, the facts as to whether father has been actively caring for the child and the parties have been living together make a claim by father for joint legal custody a strong possibility and moving...

Q: Both parents have been court ordered to use Our Family Wizard. One parent refuses. What do I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 28, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
The other parent appears to be in violation of a Court Order and you can file a Contempt Complaint in order to obtain action from the Court that will address the non-compliance in terms of its effects on the child's bet interests. If you have counsel and there is a contempt finding against the other parent the Court would also order your counsel fees to be paid.

Q: What are the steps and requirements needed to terminate my son's father's parental rights in Massachusetts?

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 17, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
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...

Q: Moving from MA to RI. How will this affect custody battle?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 14, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
Moving with the child is called a Removal Modification Petition because the MA Court presumes that the parties and child will continue to live in MA and permission needs to be granted to do so by the Court in MA unless the parties agree to the move . If the primary residence is in Rhode Island or becomes RI then MA loses jurisdiction after the child has lived there for 6 months.

Q: Now that my child is 21-1/2 am I entitled to a child support reduction, I live in Massachusetts

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 14, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
Is the child enrolled in a 4 year college educational program ? If so, then no, but you should ASAP have your divorce/separation agreement reviewed by your divorce attorney or domestic relations counsel to determine what obligation you have and how the wording reads concerning college contribution before filing for a Modification to terminate child support.

Q: stepparent's obligation for child support if it's not in divorce decree. (In MA)

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 10, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
If the child is adopted by you then the child support guidelines level of support would apply and child support orders can be sought regardless of whether visitation occurs.

Q: In a divorce case with 2 children ages 6 and 10, will the judge force the father to work to his fullest potential?

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Divorce for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jan 7, 2019
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
The Court can impute income to him in calculating child support in an amount based upon his earnings history and educational background and the Court can order job search to occur also.

Q: Can I get MA jurisdiction if the child has been living here for 4 months?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 31, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
The Probate Court would have support order jurisdiction but not yet custody and visitation jurisdiction. However, is there a threat to the child's safety or well-being involved in the return to Florida? If so, Massachusetts may consider taking the case.

Q: What are our chances of my husband adopting my son as his legal stepchild. As well as what are the steps we need to take

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 17, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
If there are no issues involving the step father there are no chances working against you and then quite possibly biological father would be willing to consent to the adoption. You can still proceed with the adoption petition if he does not consent but it would be a longer time frame, and judging from the facts presented there is no involvement with the child and he may also have fitness issues.

Q: My daughter, Age 5, was taken from me in November of 2015. I was granted a suspended judgement which is almost expired

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 17, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
This sounds like a complex matter which you should pursue through counsel and not try to handle pro se. If you do not have funds to engage an attorney to represent you, you may qualify for appointed counsel to represent you in contesting the guardianship You would need to file a Motion requesting appointment of counsel on your behalf due to indigency in the court involved.

Q: My ex has full custody of my son if she is deemed unfit who gets custody of my son?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Sep 24, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
If you are not unfit then you would be the first choice unless your existence as the father is unknown.

Q: Can a primary parent go to court to change the parenting schedule so she gets less time with the child if it’s detrimet

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Sep 6, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
This is an unusual question, but if there are circumstances which merit a "parenting " or visitation scheduling change one party can certainly bring forward a Modification Complaint. This is more common due to changes in work hours and shift changes .

Q: I have shared custody of my child. His mom has him 18 days a month and I have him 12 days a month, plus I get two full

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Sep 6, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
Yes, the child support guidelines would be calculated for a shared custody and the party with the greater income would be paying child support to the other parent.

Q: Asking for a friend

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Answered on Sep 4, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
She should at least have a Will nominating a guardian for the minor children. The best route would be to also have a Guardianship petition or at least temporary guardianship addressed by the Court taking into consideration his unsuitability as a custodial parent as being not in the children's best interests.

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