What is the Difference Between Guardianship and Custody?

Custody is the exclusive purview of a parent.  A parent is the natural guardian of a child. When a child is born there is a presumption of legal and physical custody of the child to the biological parent(s).  However, for every rule of law there are exceptions. If a child is born to a married … Continue reading What is the Difference Between Guardianship and Custody?

What affect, if any, to giving birth in another state for custodial purposes?

Where a child is born is very significant, in terms of what state has jurisdiction over the child, esp if an interstate custody dispute should arise. Pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Enforcement laws, where the child is born and lives for the first six months of it's life is the state that has jurisdiction … Continue reading What affect, if any, to giving birth in another state for custodial purposes?

Can both spouses file for temporary orders in Massachusetts? And what happens if both spouses request the same order?

Either party can file any motions it deems necessary and appropriate to advance its case; that includes motions for temporary orders. If both parties file timely motions for temporary orders, the court will hear both sides the same day. (Your lawyer  or the clerk of the court will tell you about how to notice the … Continue reading Can both spouses file for temporary orders in Massachusetts? And what happens if both spouses request the same order?

How can I get rid of a DV Restraining Order?

In Massachusetts, the process of "vacating" (using the legal term) or modifying a 209A Abuse Prevention Order, i.e a Restraining Order or "RO", depends on a number of factors: (a) which court issued the RO (b) whether you are the victim/complainant or the defendant (c) whether there was an arrest and criminal charges were filed … Continue reading How can I get rid of a DV Restraining Order?

I received a summon for a divorce, but nothing has happened since. What am I supposed to do?

The first thing you have to do is serve and file an Answer to the Complaint.  This should be done within 20 days of service of the summon and complaint.  If the time to answer has passed, you or an attorney can request an extension of time to answer.  failure to answer to the complaint … Continue reading I received a summon for a divorce, but nothing has happened since. What am I supposed to do?

Does a legal separation freeze assets and debts at the time of filing?

The short answer is: NO There are big difference between divorce and "separation". MA does not have a provision for legal separation---only for Separate Support. Which means if you want to stay married but live apart, support orders can be entered which can include child custody and child support as well other provisions. However, the … Continue reading Does a legal separation freeze assets and debts at the time of filing?

I have custody of my 4 yr old daughter. Her mother just moved to Texas and wants her to visit there. How can I stop this?

There is usually a visitation order issued concurrent with the award of custody. One parent has physical (and possibly sole legal custody) and the other has the right to visit with the child.  The visitation order lays out when (and sometimes where) the child can visit with the non-custodial parent ("NCP"), as well as any … Continue reading I have custody of my 4 yr old daughter. Her mother just moved to Texas and wants her to visit there. How can I stop this?

What are the steps to gain full custody of my daughter?

"Custody", as used in a domestic relations context, is made up of two parts: Legal and physical. Where a child is born to a married couple, both parents have a natural right to both physical and legal custody. These legal parental rights can only be altered by judicial intervention, when the parents legally separate or choose … Continue reading What are the steps to gain full custody of my daughter?

If I get custody, can I stop paying child support?

Generally, "custody" can be obtain in one of two ways: (a) you are an unwed parent and wish to establish a recognition by the state that you are the lawful parent and custodian of a child.  Most often this arises when an UNWED mother needs to establish legal custody (and paternity) in order to secure … Continue reading If I get custody, can I stop paying child support?