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In a Care and Protection and DCF or Termination of Parental Rights Case, what is the Burdon of Proof?  The Petitioner who is usually DCF must establish the parent(s) lacks the “ability, capacity, fitness and readiness” to provide for the best interest of the children. There are a variety of determinations that the Court must […]

This can occur both in Probate Court and Juvenile Court, but typically in a Juvenile Court where most of these cases are dealt with.  All parties along with their attorneys must present at the Pre-Trial Conference. There can be some reasons to excuse the clients abuses. Usually, you want to ask ahead of time and […]

In In a DCF or a Care and Protection Case, How Does my Attorney or myself get a copy of the DCF File and Service Plan and why are there so many Restrictions?  Your attorney or yourself; if you are representing yourself, is entitled to a copy of your entire social service file related to […]

In Massachusetts Juvenile Court it has what is called an “Original Jurisdiction” over a “Delinquent Child” over “Youthful Offender.” It is a bit more complicated, but the idea behind youthful offenders are more similar to felonies such as if someone was an adult, where they would be punishable by going to prison and a state […]

There are couple of different avenues that you can do.  One is called an Income Assignment, where the Department of Revenue will enforce the Child Support Guidelines.  It is a process of obtaining the payment of the support directly from the income of the non-custodial parent rather than that parent writing a check or a […]

The Court has to find that you are indigent and there are only certain cases that they will consider appointing as an attorney. Indigencies under the General Laws of Chapter 261 Section 27a.    If you are receiving public assistance if after your tax income is 125% or less of the poverty threshold and those who […]

Although, do it yourself divorce or DIY might be appropriate for some people. It is not the right solution for others. It does allow people to handle it on their own and sometimes people think that if you do not have an attorney involved in the case that it is an easier process. One, that […]

There are different stages in the 51A investigation. DCF takes an intake call where there is an allegation that a child or children are suffering from abuse or neglect.  The DCF screener will take the initial call, take notes and determine whether the alleged conduct qualifies as abuse or neglect and whether or not DCF […]

Protective Custody is different than a crime.  Protective Custody is not getting charged with a crime and you just can’t arrest somebody because they are intoxicated.  At times if there is not a crime, the police officer determines that action is necessary to assist an incapacitated person; or a person that is in danger of […]

What is a Service Plan or Action Plan? In Massachusetts DCF is required to provide services to help what they determined to be troubled families who are identified in support of 51A’s.  This is true whether the children remain in the home or are placed in foster homes. They can be such services as daycares […]