Child Custody in Massachusetts | What to Know

A divorce can be a complex and difficult process, especially when young children are involved. Parents often have strong and differing opinions when it comes to what is best for their child. For this reason, child custody can be the most difficult aspect when it comes to getting divorced. The best way to ensure that you are doing what is best for yourself and your family is to educate yourself on Massachusetts child custody procedures and contact a skilled family law attorney. Read on to learn more about child custody in Massachusetts.

What are the Types of Custody?

The two main types of custody in Massachusetts are physical and legal custody.

Physical custody: This refers to where the child mainly resides. Often, parents work together to share physical custody. Sometimes they split custody equally, and other times one parent has the child for more time. For the most part, Massachusetts courts believe that a child benefits from having a relationship with both parents and will attempt to establish a shared parenting structure.

Legal custody: This refers to a parent’s legal right to make important decisions in the life of the child. These decisions may include academics, religion, and health care. Normally, legal custody is awarded to both parents.

In rare cases, a parent may be deemed unfit and will lose physical and/or legal custody. This happens if the parent poses some sort of danger to the child, resulting in only one parent having custody of the child. This is referred to as sole custody.

How is Custody Determined?

When it comes to custody, the goal is to do what is best for the child. Some of the factors the court may examine when it comes to making a custody decision include:

  • The stability of each household
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • Any history of alcohol/substance abuse
  • Who parented the child more often before the divorce
  • How the decision will impact the child’s needs (educational, physical, and psychological).
  • The parent’s ability to meet the needs of the child

We understand how important your relationship with your child is. We are here to help you develop a comprehensive child custody plan. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our firm with any questions or concerns regarding child custody in Massachusetts.

Contact our 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.