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Massachusetts Family Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on

Q: My spouse got physical custody of my daughter 10 yrs ago. My daughter wants to move in with me. Do I need a court order?

Daughter is 16 years old.

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 30, 2019

Hello, yes, you should file a Modification proceeding and a Motion for Temporary Orders seeking primary physical custody of the child and if granted, then you would be entitled to child support from the other spouse.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on

Q: Massachusetts- Rights of the father to seek psychological help for his son, mom refuses. What can be done?

Step mother is being verbally and physically abused by the her oldest step son. Father wants to get him psychological help for these issues but the mother isn't cooperating. Child lives 3 hours away in another state. What are the father's rights to getting his son the help he needs?

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 26, 2019

You have not stated the age of the child. If he is a minor and if father has joint legal custody then he can seek a Modification for Medical decision-making authority based upon mother's refusal to deal with the aggression . You would need a Petition for same and a Motion for Temporary Orders as it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce, Family Law and Legal Malpractice for Massachusetts on

Q: Can I legally read a sealed court case if my mother has a copy of the case and grants me permission?

As a child I was part of a very intense custody battle. The case has since been sealed but my mother has a copy. Can I legally read the documents If I’m given permission by my mother to read the documents she possesses and the case pertains to me?

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 24, 2019

Was there an impoundment order? The parties and their counsel

would have access to information in the file. The file is not public

so there should be no dissemination of the contents without a

vacating of the impoundment order. So if you have concerns then

you should...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Criminal Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on

Q: Mother tells father of unborn child (3.5 months) to pay hotel bill until baby is born or he can’t see child. Extortion?

(Mass General law Chapter 265, Section 25 governs extortion.) ... Extortion is a criminal offense whereby an individual obtains property or money by any type of force and threats of 1) violence, 2) property damage, 3) harm to reputation, or 4) unfavorable government action.

Mother is... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 18, 2019

Putative father should rather than get into the nuances of whether there may be a criminal proceeding instead bring forward a Paternity action in the Probate Court where the child is born/living to establish paternity and seek visitation as well as child support orders.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on

Q: My son girlfriend is 16 years old and has a 8 month baby with my son. The girlfriend has been living with me for a year.

The girlfriend’s mother does not give her any child support she gets from her father. Girlfriend’s mom gets snap benefits and child support and refuses to give the daughter any money. I been supporting this 16 year old.

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 15, 2019

To obtain a support order you would need to be appointed the girlfriend's guardian first.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on

Q: My ex wife is threatening to refuse me visitation.

Hello. My ex wife is threatening to refuse me visitation, on the grounds that she does not approve of my new significant other (Who has no criminal record, is a mother of 4, doesn't drink, do drugs, etc, and is not a danger to my daughter in any way). We have joint legal custody, and a... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 12, 2019

It sounds like you could file a Contempt for the refusal of visitation.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: I live in MA, my father who presided in AZ passed away a few weeks ago

My father was married to a woman who he shared no children and my sister and I were a previous marriage. He left no will. How do My sister and I protect our inheritance rights? The wife was hesitant to give us a photo album from our childhood never mind our inheritance. Is there some sort of way to... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 12, 2019

This is an Arizona case if your father resided there and you should therefore contact a Probate attorney in that area.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on

Q: My brother (45yrs) has custody of his 2 kids (1 biological & 1 stepson) but he still lives with my parents.

My mother is tired of supporting the 3 of them and wants him & his kids out of the house. How would she accomplish this when he’s not willing to move out on his own?

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 21, 2019

This is more of a landlord tenant issue I believe.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on

Q: I moved from Massachusetts & want to file for my kids to visit me In Kansas. My ex says Massachusett doesn’t allow that

It’s been 7 years since I moved. My 18 yr old has visited multiple times. My 9 & 11 yr old are not allowed. I’ve visited 2X but have regular communication with them unless my ex gets mad.

Anthony C. Adamopoulos answered on Jun 3, 2019

You may file for parenting time with your two young children in the Family Court. Your wife is wrong. Your 18 year old may visit you whenever; he is an adult.

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 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on

Q: Looking for information regarding my legal rights as a noncustodial parent believing my child to be in an unsafe environ

Environment. My ex wife has recently entered into a relationship with her blood cousin (Adopted out of the family as an infant, he found her looking for his family). She allowed him to move in with her and my nonverbal autistic daughter without even meeting him - their entire relationship was based... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 20, 2019

If you have a divorce judgment , then the terms of the Judgment or Separation Agreement incorporated in the Judgment as to Custody and visitation, if applicable will be in force until Modified. You have made statements of concern for your child's well-being and a Modification and Motion for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on

Q: What can I do when my son’s father is purposely calling him by the wrong name, after it has been legally changed?

My son is 18 months old. Until this past March, his father refused to see him since I left him in January of 2018 (my son was born October 24, 2017). When my son was born, he was named after his father, but due to his refusal to be involved, in addition to legal issues, I decided to change my... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 17, 2019

The visitation center should provide reports of his conduct to you or your attorney for use in Court for a Motion for potential further curtailment of visits and orders to be obtained concerning the discontinuation of former name use by him .You may need a Modification petition if your case has... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on

Q: No contact question RE: child custody

I’m in the process of filing for separation support, legal separation and child support. My husband of 7 years committed adultery and deserted his family for one of his employees.

We have 2 children. Our oldest is in therapy and is having a very hard time with this situation, as an I.... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 14, 2019

If you have counsel the attorney should file a Motion for temporary orders concerning visitation so that this third person/romantic interest not be present during visitation as it is distressing for your child who is in therapy over the break up. You should also seriously consider engaging... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Massachusetts on

Q: Hi, I am looking for a lawyer who does pro bono work. I am on permanent Social Security Disabilty so my income is low.

I am looking to file for alimony. My husband and I have been seperated for 1 year. He does well for himself while I barely make ends meet. I am on a fixed income which makes it almost impossible to live and pay bills with anything left over. Any information or help that could be given or put me in... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 8, 2019

You should consider filing a Motion for a Fund to be paid for your retention of counsel if he does well financially and you are struggling.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Massachusetts on

Q: I have some questions about a family matter regarding my son!

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 6, 2019

Youi should contact an attorney with a specific question if it is a legal matter.

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 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 Family Law, Child Support and Child Custody for Massachusetts on

Q: Unmarried and separated with three kids. As a single mother, what are my rights an what can I do?

Is there a lawyer that I can get with low income?

Joshua H Bearce answered on Apr 10, 2019

You can file three Complaints for Custody-Support-Parenting Time in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court. You can seek to waive the filing fees if you have a low income. After you have filed, I would suggest filing a motion for temporary orders to obtain an award of child support from the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on

Q: I have my daughter full time, he father comes once a week for 1 hr visit.. im going to mexico for a week and he knows

About it, can i just go or do i need to get something written with him siging it so theres no issues? ( she is coming with me)

Meghan L Howard answered on Apr 4, 2019

If you and Father were never married and there is no court order stating otherwise, you have legal and physical custody of your daughter and can take her on vacation with you without issue.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Health Care Law for Massachusetts on

Q: Hi, can I remove my ungrateful, estranged 18 year old son from my healthcare plan?

Son lives in a different state and does not communicate with me. Thank you so much!

Meghan L Howard answered on Apr 4, 2019

It depends. If you have a divorce agreement or court order that states you shall keep him on your health insurance so long as he is eligible, you would not be able to remove him without court approval.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on

Q: If you have supervised visits with a minor child and the mother and father had words. Does the mother have the right to

Hold the child from visitation or does she need to get the court order changed. There is a court order for supervised visits 2 days a week

Joshua H Bearce answered on Apr 2, 2019

No. The Mother does not have the right to prevent you from having parenting time with the child simply because the two of you had an argument. If the Mother wants to modify the current parenting plan, she needs to obtain a court order. Otherwise, you can file a Complaint for Contempt if she... Read more »

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