Child Custody & Support
Taking A Whole Child And Whole Family Approach To Child Custody
There are two primary types of custody, physical and legal. The home of the parent who has “physical custody” of the children is where the children primarily live. “Legal custody” confers a right to make important decisions about the raising of the children, such as educational, medical or religious choices.
Even if you and your soon to be ex-spouse agree as to the child custody arrangement and even if you anticipate cooperation regarding custody, there will be details that need to be decided on and negotiated with your partner. After years of helping families find workable solutions, I keep your family’s best interests at the forefront of any negotiation.
Regardless of which parent is awarded primary physical custody or whether the parents have agreed to share physical custody, a well-drafted parenting plan can ensure that as parents you both will continue to fulfill essential roles in your children’s lives. In most uncontested custodial agreements, parents share “legal custody” and together they make their children’s major life decisions. For more information on the possibilities, call or email for a consult with me, attorney Annette Baker.
Keen Insight Into Visitation Issues
I can help you work through and resolve the following common issues concerning visitation whether you are involved in divorce or paternity proceedings, modifying or seeking enforcement of an existing visitation order or seeking compliance with an existing order.
Custody or visitation issues concerning children with special needs
Massachusetts Child Support In Divorce And Paternity Cases
Child support ends upon the emancipation of a child, which in Massachusetts may occur as late as age 23.
Most child support issues are resolved by the application of the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, which determine a weekly child support under a formula established under the state child support guidelines.
The amount of support is calculated on 5 main issues:
Which parent pays for medical insurance for the children
The number of children
Whether the parent who pays support has any previous child support obligations
The cost of child care
In many cases, however, an upward or downward variance may be reasonable based on such factors as short-term involuntary unemployment, underemployment, a child’s special needs, substantial unearned assets available for the support of the children, or disputes as to the actual income of a self-employed noncustodial parent.
The Massachusetts child support guidelines apply in cases involving paternity determinations or other disputes between unmarried parents just as much as they do in divorce cases. For additional information and dependable advice tailored to your unique circumstances, contact me at Baker Law at (978) 922-2888. You can also email me and I will respond promptly.
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