Massachusetts Child Custody Questions & Answers

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.

Q: Can a nh judge make jurisdiction of my brother stay in nh wjen he has lived in mass for 9 months? He have to see hisdad?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Answered on Sep 4, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
It sounds like the New Hampshire Court is recognizing that there could be a change in jurisdiction to Massachusetts and you should consider engaging Massachusetts counsel to advise on the timing of filings here.

Q: How can my son fight to keep his son in Mass after she told him the court grant her motion?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Aug 24, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
Your son will need to take a look at the Court file and preferably make copies of the contents so that he can consult with a domestic relations attorney ASAP. It does not make sense that the case went forward on a Motion , so some information is missing from the picture your son has presented to you.

Q: my spouse and I are splitting and he thinks he will get custody of our son.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Aug 15, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
While technically this is not a removal from the jurisdiction, it is likely more than 50 miles, correct? So the best process would be to discuss this with a divorce attorney who can raise the issues appropriately for you when he or she is in possession of all of the facts.

Q: My husband has turned the kids against me saying there currant issues are my fault and I am making them sick. What Can i

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Answered on Aug 14, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
First of all, smoking weed with the children is inappropriate and if the DCF learns of this "neglect" on his part, he will likely need to be removed from the home by you or you will need to leave the home with the children or you can be accused of also being neglectful by DCF. Are the children in any kind of therapy? Clearly this is a starting point for child care. A suicidal child should be brought to the ER of the local hospital and not told that your caring level is the cause. Have you...

Q: Modifying a Child Support order to end support payments to mom when 18 yr old moves in with dad. Child going to colleg

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Answered on Aug 8, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
Is the child in agreement to living with you primarily when he or she is in college? Did you previously have a close relationship with the child? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you can pursue a Modification of support once he or she moves in with you.

Q: How do I file change of custody order docs when living out of state?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Aug 7, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
You sound like you moved out of state some time after the Visitation Orders issued, am I correct? If so, then you would need a Modification and you can request a Modification of child support if you will need to travel to see the children or have them travel to see you. Potentially you are also experiencing a contempt situation but it is not clear from your question. It is very difficult to conduct litigation pro se from out of state and you should strongly consider hiring counsel to represent...

Q: I live in mass and don’t want my ex’s current girlfriend around our two kids. Will a judge grant that order?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Answered on Jul 31, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
Hello, if there is a visitation order contained in a Separation Agreement and Divorce Judgment or a Paternity or Custody and Support matter you can seek a Modification Complaint based upon her presence during visitation with information as to how she is having an adverse effect on the children - the background of this individual was not stated so it is difficult to make much of a comment-also the ages of the children are important to know. If the Court finds that she is not an acceptable...

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