Area of Law:
Child Custody and Domestic Violence in Massachusetts
In this video we explore how domestic violence between parents and children can affect custody hearings in Massachusetts.
Free Legal Aid provides useful information about child custody. In addition to the video here, be sure you check out other resources.
Massachusetts law does not list specific factors to be considered in determining a child’s best interests, allowing judges a great deal of discretion in making decisions. A judge making a custody determination in a Massachusetts divorce case will be guided by the best interests of the children involved. Check to learn more.
"Physical custody" refers to where a child will live after a divorce or separation. The parent with physical custody has the right to have the child physically present in the home. “Legal custody” is the right and responsibility to make major decisions regarding a child's welfare, including: Check to learn more.
The purpose of this booklet is to give you information about how the law addresses child custody and visitation. It will help you think through the legal issues you will need to consider to resolve questions such as: Check to learn more.
There are four different types of legally defined custody arrangements in Massachusetts law. Parents can make their own arrangements within these definitions and draft an agreement about custody and parenting time. Check to learn more.