Massachusetts Divorce Custody
Massachusetts divorce custody cases are decided after a fair assessment of the parent-child bond so that the best interests of the child are not compromised and the welfare of the child is at the top most priority.
Following guidelines are followed by the courts dealing with Massachusetts child custody cases:
- Four kinds of custody arrangements are followed in Massachusetts. They are sole legal custody (where only one parent has the right to take all decisions of the child regarding his/her health, educational, religious etc matters), joint legal custody (where both the parents have equal rights regarding decision making on matters of health, education, religion etc), sole physical custody (where the child gets to stay with only one parent and the other parent can only come and pay visits during weekends. If the courts find that the non-custodial parent is detrimental for the best interests of the child, then his/her visitation rights may also be forfeited), and the last one: shared physical custody (here both the parents have equal rights regarding the residence of the child. This is to ensure that the child has equal chance of staying with both the parents and thus, gets the advantages of both the parental upbringing).
- According to Massachusetts divorce custody laws, child custody is awarded to the mother if the parents are not married.
- While awarding child custody, judges also look into the mater whether there has been any domestic violence or physical brutality, child abuse or child neglect or any criminal activity in the family which might affect the child. If a parent is found to be alcoholic or indulging in substance abuse etc, then the child custody is not awarded to hat parent at all!
- Massachusetts divorce custody laws encourage parents to formulate a visitation schedule which would be suiting their conveniences. If the parents are found to cooperate with each other regarding child care, then judges prefer them to have a reasonable visitation schedule instead of asking them to formulate a timetable regarding how best to share the time of the child.
- Courts in the state of Massachusetts also provide supervised visitation opportunities so that the visits of the non-custodial parent can be monitored by a “supervisor”. Such a scenario arises if a parent is considered abusive or his/her visits may be detrimental (to a certain degree) to the child. That supervisor can be a person whom both the divorced parents have themselves decided. In other divorce custody cases in Massachusetts, judges may ask the non-custodial parent to visit the child in so called visitation centers. These centers have authorized supervisors who can ask the court to forfeit the visitation rights of a parent if it does not suit the best interests of the child.
- Such supervised visitations are also preferred if there has been physical or domestic violence between the two spouses and hence, there should be very little contact between the two divorce d parents.
- Child support is also an important issue that is addressed in Massachusetts divorce custody cases. Here incomes of both the parents are pooled in to make arrangements for the child’s financial expenses. A parent who does not have visitation rights may still be asked to extend child support by the courts handling Massachusetts child custody battles.