Child custody is perhaps the most important issue in a divorce. Unfortunately, substance abuse issues oftentimes further complicate child custody matters. Please continue reading and reach out to our experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What are the different types of child custody in Massachusetts?
The two primary types of child custody are physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where your child will live, and legal custody gives parents the legal authority to make certain decisions on behalf of their child. Some of those decisions can include what religion the child will practice, what kind of medical care the child can receive, and where the child will go to school. Generally, though all parents wish to have their child live with them, legal custody is what we encourage parents to fight for, at the very least.
How do Massachusetts courts determine child custody?
The main factor in determining child custody is the child’s best interests. Though Massachusetts courts will generally look to split both physical and legal custody evenly between both parents, this does not always happen if they determine that it is not in the child’s best interests. They will consider a wide array of factors, including the bond the child has with both parents, whether both parents live in close proximity to one another, whether both parents can provide for the child (both financially and emotionally) and more. Oftentimes, if the child is old or mature enough, Massachusetts courts will also account for that child’s preference, if he or she has one.
That being said, if the court determines that one parent is, in some way, parentally unfit, there is a very good chance that the other parent will be awarded sole custody of the child. There are various actions or circumstances that may warrant this decision. For example, if one parent exposes their child to domestic abuse or a substance abuse issue, that parent may not retain custody of his or her child. No matter your circumstances, if you are seeking custody of your child, it is paramount that you have a knowledgeable Bristol County divorce attorney at your side. Our firm is here to help–all you have to do is give us a call.
Contact our experienced Bristol County, Massachusetts firm
If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. We recognize the impact a divorce can have on the lives of you or your children, which is why our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts, and throughout Bristol County.