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In custody cases in Massachusetts – what is the difference between physical custody and legal custody and visitation or parenting plan. Physical custody means who your child or children will be living with. Legal custody means who will be making the important decisions about your child’s life which can include educational, medical or religious. Not […]

The Trial Court has issued new child support guidelines in Massachusetts and the new guidelines will go into effect September 15, 2017. Some significant changes, including increasing the minimum support order to $25.00 per week, removing parenting time and child support calculations that were on the prior guidelines. The new guidelines will also include a […]

You can get a Fair Hearing that are described in other blogs in certain kinds of DCF decisions, but there is the opportunity to file something called “Grievance Process” and for example: you can file a Grievance, depending on how DCF is treating you, but again, you want to be really careful before you just […]

There are some big changes surrounding child support in Massachusetts and it may impact people in a variety of ways. It does make sense to re-calculate child support now versus at the time of any order. The new calculations can be used to change or modify by agreement or contested. The updates impact new cases. […]

To a degree, you want to try and get along with your worker. DCF may very well hold it against you, if you cannot get along or seem to cooperate. What I tell people is that you want treat it as though the person is your boss or a supervisor; even if you have a […]

There are some possible outcomes; including returning the child to your custody; place the child with another parent; place the child with a relative; or a family friend. You can order a Guardianship for your child; place the child in DCF legal custody until the child is 18; at which it can be reviewed under […]

The Judge is supposed to ask whether you are a member of any recognized Native American Tribe. DCF is also to determine whether the child is either eligible for membership or in a Native American Tribe. It is the responsibility of all parties if anybody is aware to bring it up to the court if […]

Any case in Juvenile Court is a closed session, meaning only the parties in the case and sometimes the foster care provider or the grandparents if they have placement can be present and sometimes other attorneys will be present, but it is not an open to the public courtroom, like District Court or criminal cases. […]

A care and protection case is when a Petitioner (usually DCF) claims that a child is at risk of abuse or neglect while in the parents care. The case would be heard by a Juvenile Court Judge. This is something that is very serious and it can result potentially in termination of your parental rights. […]

If DCF supports a 51A and you are considering an appeal, be aware that there are requirements and timetables. You’ll need to send a written request within 30 calendar days of the supported decision or of receipt of the decision (if notice of the decision is required). If you are unsure whether or not to […]