What You Need to Know When Hiring a Child Custody Lawyer
Child custody battles are notorious for being lengthy, frustrating, and heartbreaking. Sometimes, child custody can be settled quickly and amicably. Other times, it requires more in-depth litigation. When looking for a child custody lawyer to represent you, it will be helpful to have some understanding of what family law entails so that you can make an informed choice.
If you are thinking of divorce, or have already filed for divorce and live near Worcester, MA, contact us at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP for a free consultation: (508) 570-3037. We will help assess your position and analyze your best course of action.
Massachusetts Child Custody Laws
In Massachusetts, custody is based on the best interests of the child. There is a commonly believed narrative that the mother always wins. This is not inherent to any custody statues in Massachusetts. Rather, the court will decide what is best for the child based on the information presented by both parents. Judges generally begin from the assumption that it is within the child’s best interest to have both parents equally present and responsible in their lives.
Depending on your particular situation, if you and your ex-partner were unable to agree on child custody during mediation, you will have to build a case as to what you believe is the child’s best interest and why. Your child custody attorney will help assess the situation.
Custody is generally decided by taking various factors into account. Some of which include:
- Which of you is more likely to take care of the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of your child;
- Which of you is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with your child; and
- Which of you is more likely to encourage and allow frequent contact between your child and the other parent.
Joint Custody vs Sole Custody
In Massachusetts, there are two general types of custody that can be further broken down. Depending on your particular case, your chosen child custody lawyer will help decide how to respond to what your ex-partner has filed, or, how to initiate a path to desired custody.
The types of custody are generally understood as legal custody or physical custody:
Sole legal custody: decisions regarding the child’s welfare are left to one parent.
Shared legal custody: both parents are involved and responsible for the decisions regarding the child(ren).
Sole physical custody: the child lives with one parent who is responsible for their supervision. A parent may have visitation rights unless the court decides otherwise.
Shared physical custody: a child has periods of residing with and being under the supervision of both parents.
How a Child Custody Lawyer Helps Prepare You for Your Trial
The most important factor for a child custody trial is how prepared you are. This is why it is crucial to find a child custody lawyer who knows the ins and outs of family law, and who also has the capacity to handle your case. Your attorney will help anticipate any allegations made by your ex-partner, help you fully understand tricky spots, and make sure you can defend your case for child custody with evidence and necessary testimony.
Find an attorney that you feel understands you and that you trust to be your voice in the custody trial. If you are in the Worcester area, contact Murphy and Rudolf, LLP. for a free consultation: (508) 570-3037. Our family law specialists are here to support you through what can certainly be a difficult time.