Custody and Visitation Lawyers Serving Boston, Massachusetts
Custody is one of the most hotly contested issues in a divorce, paternity or modification disputes. Without an aggressive, knowledgeable attorney by your side, the end result of a Massachusetts custody dispute can be a frightening prospect for both parents and the best interests of the children.
At Massachusetts Family Law Group, you will work with custody attorneys and parenting plan lawyers with more than 100 combined years of experience. We provide experienced and aggressive advocacy to both mothers and fathers in contested custody disputes.
Types of Child Custody
Custody Massachusetts is complex. Traditionally, custody is divided into:
- Legal Custody: The authority and right to make decisions about the education, religious, health and welfare of children so long as such decisions do not conflict with the physical custody order. Joint legal custody does not mean the parents will share joint physical custody.
- Physical Custody: The schedule or amount of time that a child spends with a parent. Often times, one parent will have the children for more time than the other; the parent with more time is oftentimes referred to as the "primary" parent; the "non-custodial" parent has specific parenting time.
The amount of time or decision-making responsibilities a parent is given can be further divided into:
- Joint or Shared Custody: The label used when both parents share rights and responsibilities.
- Sole Custody: The label when one parent is designated as the primary parent with legal or physical custody. In situations like this, the other parent is often given limited parenting time, including supervised and unsupervised parenting time.
A variety of options are available, and in recent years custodial labels have become less of a focus. Parenting plans, outline each parent's specific rights and responsibilities, have become more generally accepted.
Preparing Your Case for Trial
Each of our attorneys will tell you how their first hope is to help the parties resolve their differences, but that doesn't always happen. We prepare for each case as if it will go to trial, even when we believe the case will settle. When cases are litigated vigorously up to trial, the parties are more willing to be reasonable with each other. The alternative may involve spending thousands of dollars in a three- or four-day trial where, even when we get what we want, the cost of litigation often dips into retirement or the children's educational funds.
Whether your case involves a straightforward dispute between parents, or complicated additional issues, you should not attempt to handle the matter on your own. The attorneys at Massachusetts Family Law Group will provide you with comprehensive, knowledgeable assistance for complex custody matters
When A Judge Decides Custody-Related Issues
If you and your child's other parent cannot resolve your custody dispute on your own, a judge will make a decision on matters such as:
- Where the children will reside
- When the children will see their parents
- What school the children will be attending
- Where they will spend holidays and vacations
These decisions are normally made by parents, no matter how contested a divorce matter may be. Most agree that the parents — not the court — are best suited to make permanent decisions about the children.
Our law firm has earned a reputation for getting to the bottom of legal issues quickly, staying on top of our client's needs through temporary motions, and effectively resolving custody and visitation matters. We will provide detailed evidence of parental involvement that shows how your position is in the child's best interest. If you lack demonstrable evidence that you are an involved parent, we will advise you on how to gather this information.
Free Case Evaluation With An Experienced Custody and Visitation Attorney
If you're wondering what to do next, taking advantage of or no-obligation consultation might be the best move. Give us the specifics of your case, let an attorney hear your story, and we will spell out your options for you.
Call (800) 763-1030 or e-mail us to schedule an appointment.