In Massachusetts What are somethings that I can do to Help get better Chance of Winning Custody or Having more Parenting Time?   

Many people ask about moving from the marital residence if the child is living there.  Generally, it is it not considered abandonment to do so; which is a concern that people have, but it is a large factor in terms of keeping things as normal as they are and if one parent is living with the children in the marital home while the other party has moved out. By the time you go to court you can almost be prejudice by the fact that you are separated. There are some realities about reasons why you might want to move out; even though it would be more beneficial for your custody case or parenting case to stay in the home.  It is a major decision that you should talk to an attorney about the pros and cons of moving out of the home and the advantages and disadvantages.

Can a Judge order No Visitation or Supervised Visitation?     

The answer is Yes.  The Judge has the discretion to order the visits be supervised or that there be no visits at all. It is extremely rare though that no visitation would occur. Typically, there must be an extreme case. Sometimes if the parent is in jail; or very extreme cases for no visitation. There can be if there is DCF involvement or allegations of abuse or neglect and there is a possibility of it being no visitation, but it is more likely that it would be supervised visitation that typically the parent having the visits would pay for. There can also be paid community visitation; where there is a supervisor, many times a clinician, DCF worker or someone specifically trained. They will have visitation in the community such as a park, a mall or something of that nature; which is better than a visitation center.  There can also be supervised visitation sometimes by family members or by third parties that both parties agree to.  Even supervised visitation is not typical and there has to be some allegations that would support the Judges findings that should be supervised.

Can One Parent change the Child’s Last name Without the Other Parent’s Permission?                      

Typically, not without either the other parents permission or a Court Order.  The Courts will use again what is called “Best Interest of the Child” in determining whether a name change should be allowed if requested by one party and opposed by the other.