Types of Massachusetts Child Custody Arrangements

Each state has different laws and variations of laws regarding divorce. One major detail under the realm of divorce law in Massachusetts is child custody. Each divorce is different, so therefore not all child custody cases are the same either. Here are the different kinds of arrangements for your child or children in Massachusetts.


Sole Legal Custody. This is when one parent is the only parent to take responsibility for the children's well being regarding medical care, emotional or moral support, education or religious development.


Shared Legal Custody. Both parents are allowed to split responsibilities for caring for their child or children. Each parent must communicate effectively to make sure all major decisions benefit the child. If both parties cannot agree on what they believe is best for their children, divorce mediation may be needed.


Sole Physical Custody. This type of custody arrangement means that the children live with one parent instead of the other. However, it's important to understand that the children can still visit the parent they are not living with and a specific parenting plan may be established. Or, if the court believes it is not in the child’s best interest, then it can order that the children may not visit the other parent.


Shared Physical Custody. Shared physical custody is becoming more common nowadays as both parents will often request to have their child reside with them for some time in a given period. This type of custody arrangement may also be called “joint physical custody with primary residence with” whichever party. The child will then spend a period of time living with each parent to encourage continued contact with both.


Not sure which custody arrangement is best for you and your family? It's best to contact a divorce lawyer who can help guide you through the process. Contact the Law Office of Stark & Heiner today at (978) 685-8777 or send us an email.