North Shore Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer
There are two types of child custody:
- Legal custody, which concerns decision-making authority for your child’s medical care, religious upbringing, education and general well-being
- Physical custody, which is where the child lives
Joint legal custody is the norm in Massachusetts. However, until recently courts normally awarded primary physical child custody to the mother. The father typically had visitation on alternate weekends, alternate holidays, one night during the week and an extended period of time during the summer. This is changing as more and more fathers are seeking joint physical custody of children. Furthermore, Massachusetts courts are tending away from the concept of “visitation,” and are referring to it as “parenting time” rather than visitation.
Child custody attorney Judith A. Wayne helps clients negotiate custody and parenting agreements that foster meaningful child-parent relationships. With more than 30 years of experience in the field of family law, Ms. Wayne will address any custody issue you may face, including:
- Achieving custody and parenting time orders that are fair and workable
- Modifications in custody and parenting arrangements
- Proposed child relocations
- Enforcement of custody and parenting orders
- Protection of your parental rights
- Custody and parenting issues facing unmarried parents
In Marblehead, on the North Shore and throughout Massachusetts, you can depend on The Law Offices of Judith A. Wayne & Associates. Wayne to protect your rights at all times. We represent clients as far west as Pittsfield and as far east as Cape Cod and the Islands. Call 781-691-9104 to schedule a consultation.
Understanding Massachusetts Child Custody Rules
A joint physical custody arrangement affects not only the amount of time you spend with your child, but also the amount of child support you either pay or receive. Before you agree to any child custody arrangement, you should discuss your case with a competent and experienced child custody lawyer.
In Massachusetts, the courts must consider the best interests of the child when making custody determinations. When a child is older than 14, the court will likely allow the child’s input to hold great weight. While sole physical custodial arrangements were rare in the past, they are certainly becoming more accepted by the Massachusetts courts so long as both parents can communicate about the best interests of the child.
Child Custody Modifications
Child custody and parenting arrangements can be changed after divorce if there is a substantial change in circumstances. Examples of a change in circumstances include relocation, illness or loss of employment of the custodial parent, the child’s performance at school or any other change that affects the child’s well-being.
Contact an Attorney Who Can Help You Maximize Your Parenting Time with Your Child
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