Child Support and Child Custody Lawyers
Most of the time, parents know how to do what is best for their children. That is why child support and child custody disputes can be so difficult. Parents must often find solutions that meet their children’s needs during a highly stressful point in their lives.
You and your children deserve to be represented by a lawyer who is committed to protecting your interests. We are here to guide you to child custody and child support arrangements that take into account your child’s needs and also acknowledge your needs and rights as a parent.
With more than 50 years of collective experience, our attorneys can give you straightforward child custody advice. We have helped countless families through child custody disputes involving:
- Divorce: Ending a marriage is difficult enough. When you also have to worry about your children, we can help you find a solution that works for your family.
- Restraining Orders: Unfortunately, Restraining Orders are not uncommon in cases involving child custody disputes. If you need advice regarding a restraining order, we will work quickly to resolve the matter and protect your rights.
- Massachusetts Department of Children and Families: We are experienced in cases involving social services and have a full understanding of the issues that often arise.
- Grandparents’ rights: When a family member helps care for a child, his or her rights should be respected. If your grandchildren are being kept from you, we can work to establish grandparent visitation rights.
In Massachusetts, child custody involves legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves each parent’s ability to make decisions about the child’s upbringing, education, religion and other important factors. Physical custody involves where the child lives. In many cases, parents may share legal custody. In fact, courts tend to presume that parents will share legal custody. Typically, however, one parent will have primary physical custody of the children and the other will have parenting time. Setting a parenting time plan can be very complex, depending on the family’s situation. Our lawyers will work closely with you to find arrangements that make sense for you and your children.
Once custody has been determined, the issue of child support must be settled. Typically, courts award child support to the parent who has primary physical custody. We have represented parents with simple or complex financial situations. Child support is based on income. Complications in calculating support can arise when one parent is self-employed or not forthcoming regarding his or her income.
- Are you married to someone who is self-employed? Some self-employed individuals do not report all of their income. If your spouse is self-employed and you are collecting child support for the children, we can take steps to accurately calculate this income.
- Are you self-employed? We frequently represent contractors, business owners, medical professionals and others who are self-employed. We work with tax experts and accountants to determine your actual take-home pay and work from this number to determine child support payments.
In certain circumstances, parents may be required to pay child support past the page of 18. When a child is under the age of 23 and enrolled in college, the court may use its discretion to order the supporting parent to continue making child support payments to the custodial parent. Courts may also order parents to pay for their children’s college tuition and educational expenses.