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The parent or guardian has the right to attend all court hearings. They have a right to be represented by an attorney at any court hearing. If the Judge considers ordering custody to someone other than the parent where the court can appoint one for the parent or guardian, if the parent or guardian cannot […]

For DCF to get emergency temporary custody of a child, DCF needs to go to Juvenile Court with an Affidavit; which is a statement under oath usually by a DCF worker and the supervisor telling the Judge why DCF believes that it is necessary to remove the child(ren) from the custody of his/her parent or […]

If the parents are never married, who has physical and legal custody? In Massachusetts if the parents are not married the mother has sole physical and legal custody. This means that the father would need to go to court to get a court order to have joint or his own sole physical or own sole […]

Massachusetts does not set a specific age in which a child can be left home alone. In Massachusetts, it is decided on a case by case basis. The Mass. General Laws Ch. 119, Section 39: an abandonment of a child under the age of 10 is 110 CMR 2.00; which defines neglect. Part of this […]

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 […]