Divorce Massachusetts Custody

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Types of Divorce Massachusetts Custody

Sole Physical Custody

  • The child lives with one parent and is supervised by this parent
  • The court awards the other parent reasonable visitation rights
  • The court may deny visitation facility if the court concludes that such visitations are not in the best interests of the child
Shared Physical Custody
  • The child spends some duration of time with one parent and the remaining duration with the other parent. During each duration, the respective parent supervises the child
  • The plan of these durations is made in such a manner that the child has continued and frequent contact with both the father and the mother
Sole Legal Custody
  • Only one parent has the responsibility and right to make major decisions pertaining to the welfare of the child
  • Some of the issues on which this parent has to take decisions are the religious and moral development, emotional issues, medical care and education
Shared Legal Custody
  • It is expected that both parents get involved in the major decisions about the welfare of the child and regard it as their mutual responsibility
Role of GAL in Divorce Massachusetts Custody

The courts in this state appoint a GAL (Guardian ad litem) in a child custody case. The role of this GAL is to evaluate the situation of the child and accordingly make recommendations to the court stating the best possible arrangement for the child.

Usually, the GAL is a psychologist. While evaluating the situation, this professional meets the father as well as the mother and studies each parent's interaction with the child. When this professional meets the parents, the parents should reveal their weak and strong points as a parent. The parents should also disclose how they are trying to remedy the former. Each parent should divulge his/her perspective on child discipline.

The GAL may ask the parents some questions and it is expected that the parents should offer specific answers to these. Out of the wide range of questions, those that are related to the role of primary caretaker are very important. Some of these questions are as follows.

  • Do you spend time with the child?
  • Do you read books to the child?
  • Do you know who the child's friends are?
  • Do you plan the birthday party of the child?
  • Do you attend the school and sports events of the child?
  • Do you accompany the child to the doctor's and dentist's appointments?
  • Do you and the child go out somewhere? If yes, where?
  • Do you meet the teachers of the child?
  • Do you wash the clothes of the child?
  • Do you cook for the child?
  • Do you assist the child to get ready for school or bed?
Child Custody Laws in Massachusetts

These laws do not prefer one parent over another due to the gender of the parent. Some factors that are given importance are as follows.

  • Which parent has played the role of the primary caretaker?
  • Any past incidences of abandonment, drugs or abuse
  • Relationship of the child with the parents
  • Adjustment of the child in community, school and family
  • The well being of the child

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