Boston Child Custody Attorney
Need Someone to Champion Your Parental Rights? Call Us
There is no question that being a parent is tougher after a divorce. But having an experienced lawyer can make things easier in the long run. DiBella Law Offices, P.C., has been helping Boston families since 2007. We strive to provide experience and empathy to you and your children.
Because our team handles all aspects of family law, we have a keen understanding of both the legal process and the courts in Boston, specifically Suffolk Probate and Family Court on New Chardon.
Both parents have a vested interest in a child custody case, and we respect the rights and concerns of the children during this stressful process. Our goal is to reach an agreement that is acceptable to you and your ex if possible, and if not, to support you and fight for your rights in court and beyond. Contact our Boston family law lawyers at (617) 870-0907 to schedule a free consultation at our office.
What Are the Basics of Child Custody in MA?
As a municipality in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston follows the legal guidelines of Massachusetts. There are two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody deals with where the child lives most of the time. Legal custody has to do with decision-making power over the child, and Boston family courts encourage shared legal custody between the parents whenever possible.
In some cases, the parents are able to agree to a solution for physical and legal custody, while in high-conflict child custody cases, the court has to rule on what is best for the children. Boston judges are less inclined to automatically award custody based on the gender of the parent, which was the norm in the past. Currently, judges evaluate many factors, such as:
- What the parent wants
- What the child wants
- The relationship between each parent and the child
- The relationships the child has with other siblings and relatives
- The child’s age, gender, and health
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- The lifestyle of each parent, including the parent’s ability to provide for the child
- How a change in the child’s current living situation would impact the child.
- Whether either parent has a history of child abuse or neglect
It is important to understand that custody and visitation orders set by a Boston court are legally binding. If one parent refuses to follow the order, he or she could face contempt of court charges. It’s far better to request a modification of a current custody order than to defy the court, but proving that a modification is warranted can be tough. Generally, there needs to be a "significant" change in either parent’s life, or new evidence, to convince a judge to sign off on a modification. Speaking to our Boston attorney can help you explore your legal options if your current custody arrangement is unacceptable to you.
Why Change a MA Custody Order?
One of the most common reasons to amend a custody order is the age of the child. As the child gets older, he or she might prefer to live with one parent over the other, which the court will generally respect. You may also need an amendment if your situation changes, making it impossible to follow the current custody agreement. This could be due to relocation for work, a parent with health issues, or a parent remarrying.
Our divorce attorneys at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. can assist you in seeking custody, contesting a current custody arrangement, or modifying an agreement in the Boston area. Call our office today at (617) 870-0907 to schedule your free consultation.