How is child custody determined?

Child Custody

Child Custody in Massachusetts is evolving from the words of “legal custody”, “physical custody” and “visitation” to the term “parenting plan”.

If the parents are unable to jointly agree upon where the child will primarily reside after the divorce, the court must make the decision. The court makes the decision as to whether one or the other parent will have primary custody based upon the best interests of the child.  Some of the many factors a court will consider are: the stability of each household, whether one parent abuses drugs or alcohol, who primarily parented the child prior to the divorce, who attended doctor’s appointments and parent-teacher conferences, the ability of each parent to address the needs of the child and the living arrangement and lifestyles of each parent and how such circumstances may affect the child and the child’s educational, physical and psychological needs. In some cases, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate and report back to the court.

If you have questions regarding your custody agreement or what you can expect while creating one, it is important that you consult with an experienced family law attorney today who can provide you with assistance.