Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

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Posts tagged "Child Custody"

Factors that can weigh heavily on a child's best interests

The well-being of children is often at the mercy of the choices made by adults. Because of this, the family law courts ensure that a child's best interests are top priority when constructing a child custody arrangement. Which factors can be considered during the child custody process when determining what is in a child's best interest?

Grandparents' rights to visitation in Massachusetts

Divorce in Massachusetts centers on the divorcing couple and any children they may have. One group that routinely receives virtually no attention in the divorce process is grandparents. Most people might think that grandparents have only an ancillary interest in visitation with minor children after a divorce has been finalized. In many situations, however, the grandparents may be the child's best hope for a stable environment and adequate financial support.

What is a shared custody implementation plan in Massachusetts?

Most civil judges in Massachusetts realize that the issue of child custody in a divorce should be resolved by the parents. The legislature has provided a powerful tool to encourage divorcing parents to give meaningful consideration to child custody issues by requiring the couple to submit to the court a "shared custody implementation plan."

The effect of evidence of abuse on child custody

Most Massachusetts couples who have decided to obtain a divorce wonder how the court will resolve the complex question of physical custody. The court will consider a variety of factors, such as the relative incomes of the parents, the relationship between the parents and the children, and the stability of relationships before and after the divorce. A significant factor is whether one parent is able to provide a better home environment for the child. Another factor may be considered a nuclear weapon of sorts: evidence of abuse.

Options for enforcing parenting time in Massachusetts

In many child custody and visitation matters in Massachusetts, one parent will have the care and control of the child most of the time. The other parent, however, will generally be given court-ordered visitation. In other words, the other parent's legal visitation rights are backed by the authority and power of the court hearing the case.

Child custody and relocation laws in Massachusetts

Like other states, Massachusetts has special rules when a parent with custody over his or her child wishes to move to another state. Particularly since states in this part of the country are smaller, it is highly possible a parent may have very good reasons for wanting to make a move. For instance, he may have a better job opportunity in a nearby state, or he may want to make a move in order to be closer to relatives.

Representation in high conflict custody situations

There is a lot of focus these days in the world of family law on the importance of parents putting aside at least some of their differences for the sake of their children and agreeing on a parenting plan. This is thought to be best for the well-being of the children, and, quite frankly, it also saves parents a lot of time and stress as well.

When can I ask for a change in child custody?

Even when both parents agreed at the outset, the reality is that child custody orders in Massachusetts are subject to be changed. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since the flexibility gives judges and parents the opportunity to make adjustments when a child's situation changes.

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