Custody and Divorce in Danvers Massachusetts
Facing a divorce in Danvers MA is never easy. Especially if children are involved. Child custody is always one of the top concerns facing parents. Custody is the responsibility given to one or both parents for the care of the child. In Massachusetts, custody is determined based on the best interest of the child principle. This means that the court can determine who will have the responsibility of the child based on the child’s welfare considerations. Massachusetts’s laws are vague on what the factors that determine the best interest of the child are therefore giving room for various interpretations. Here’s what you need to know about child custody in Massachusetts.
Legal and Physical Custody
There are a couple of distinct types of custody; legal and physical. The physical custody determines who the child will be living with. The parent with physical custody provides supervision and care for the child on a day-to-day basis. Sole physical custody gives one parent to provide care and supervision for the child while the other parent is granted visitation rights.
In sole physical custody, the visitation rights may not be granted if it is found that it will not be in the best interests of the child. The child gets to visit the parent for limited periods of time, but not to live with the parent.
Legal custody determines which parent makes decisions regarding the well being of the child. There are two different types of legal custody, shared and sole legal custody. Under sole legal custody one parent has the right to make decisions regarding the welfare of the child, while shared custody places that responsibility equally on both parents.
You may be granted temporary shared custody of the child soon after you file your divorce. This is completed until it can be shown that it will not be in the best interest of the child to share custody between both parents. A parent who has been granted physical custody cannot make decisions on behalf of the child unless he has either sole legal custody or shared custody.
Can the child choose which parent they want to be with? Minor Childrens rights laws in MA.
Abuse and Custody
If one is considered to be abusive he may not get either physical or legal custody of the child. If one of the parents has repeatedly caused bodily harm, or issued threats of the same, to either the child or the parent in the past he or she may fail to get custody on grounds that granting them care of the child will be against its best interests.
A parent that is found to be abusive can still get limited visitation rights. That means that their visitations will be such that steps will be taken to ensure the interests of the child are safeguarded. A court in Massachusetts may order that the abusive parent be supervised by another parent during these visitations. The judge may also require the abusive parent to go for counseling, anger management, or rehabilitation before they can be allowed to visit their children.
If the parents agree, they can come up with custody arrangements that can be adopted by the court. However, the court will only adopt the plan if it is in the best interest of the child. The court may accept or make modifications to the plan.