Child Custody

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Seeking Resolutions in Massachusetts Child Custody Disputes

In a child custody case, it can be difficult to put emotions aside. However, our attorneys have seen the damage done to children and their parents in a legal tug-of-war. Our practice explores solutions to child custody that keep relationships intact and promote good parenting.

Protecting Your Child’s Best Interests

You and your spouse may be ending your marriage, but you will remain parenting partners. Our firm helps clients get to the heart of disputes and strike a balance between their desires and the best interests of the child. We have extensive trial skills and experience and are more than ready to represent you in court. Our attorneys are knowledgeable regarding trial evidence and have a keen understanding of the rules of evidence.

Child custody can be granted as shared or sole custody. In most cases, parents share parenting time and decision-making about the child’s education, religion and health. If parents cannot agree, the court will award primary physical custody to one party and visitation to the other. A guardian ad litem may be appointed to ensure that the child’s social and physical well-being is kept at the forefront. The court often appoints an attorney or trained psychologist as a guardian ad litem to act on behalf of the child.

Relocation and Removal Actions

Before moving out of state with a child, a parent needs permission from the court. In Massachusetts, a “real advantage” standard is applied by the court to determine if the move will positively affect the child.

We help custodial parents who are looking to move out of Massachusetts as well as noncustodial parents who oppose the move. Our lawyers assist clients in child removal actions and also help with modifications to child custody and visitation, if necessary.

Protect Out-of-State Parents and Children

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) and Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) protect the rights of out-of-state parents and the children involved.

The UIFSA grants jurisdiction over granting and modifying child support orders. It also facilitates enforcement of child support orders.

The UCCJEA gives jurisdiction over child custody determinations in the courts where the child has lived for six months in a row with a parent. In cases where the child hasn’t lived in one state for six months, the state with which the child has significant connections, at least one parent and substantial evidence concerning certain information about the child, may assert jurisdiction over determining custody of the child. If multiple states meet this standard, the two states must determine which state’s connection to the child is more significant. Once jurisdiction is determined under the UCCJEA, that court maintains jurisdiction over the matter until it is determined that such a connection no longer exists or that the child and his or her parent no longer lives in the state.

Top Rated Child Custody Lawyers

David M. Gabriel is a top rated child custody lawyer with many years of experience helping parents and children preserve family traditions.

Our attorneys know the Essex County Probate & Family Court in Salem, Massachusetts, the Middlesex County Probate & Family Court in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Norfolk County Probate and Family Court in Canton, Massachusetts and the Suffolk County Probate & Family Court in Boston, Massachusetts. Attorney Gabriel is well-known and well-respected among peers, judges and court personnel.

Contact us for a confidential discussion regarding your child custody matters We accept credit cards and can arrange evening or weekend appointments.

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