Child Custody in Massachusetts

Divorce is always challenging, however, if children are involved, the process becomes far more complex. If you, your spouse and child cannot agree on a custody schedule that works for everyone, you must read on and reach out to an experienced Massachusetts child custody attorney to learn more about the legal process going forward. Here are some of the questions you may have regarding child custody in Massachusetts:

What is joint custody?

When parents get divorced, child custody is often the most significant issue on their minds. Oftentimes, parents can reasonably divide parenting time so both parents can be an equal part of their child’s life. This is known as joint custody and is generally preferred by all, including the courts, as this is often in the child’s best interest. However, in certain cases, this is simply impossible for one reason or another, in which case the courts will grant one parent sole custody over the child. Though this is rare, it is a strong possibility if one parent is found to have a substance abuse problem, has committed an act of domestic violence, or has done anything else that may question his or her parental fitness.

What is the difference between physical and legal custody?

Though both parents generally want their child to live with them, the truth is, this is not always the case. Physical custody refers to the location where your child primarily resides. However, though no parent wants to spend less time with their child than the other parent, the truth is, our firm often heavily emphasizes the importance of obtaining legal custody, at the very least. If you obtain legal custody of your child, you will legally have a say in the religion your child practices, the types of medical treatments your child can receive, where your child will attend school, and more.

How do Massachusetts courts determine child custody?

Massachusetts courts consider several different factors when deciding child custody terms. Some of the most important factors can include you and your former spouse’s age and health, which parent has been the primary caregiver, whether your child is old/mature enough to have a rational preference, the standard of life each parent and their home/town’s resources can provide, and more.

Contact our experienced Massachusetts firm

For over 30 years, The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. has provided quality legal support and representation for clients in Bristol County and all of Massachusetts. Our firm’s experience eases the stress of clients while providing the legal services they deserve. If you need help through a contested divorce, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. for a consultation today.