When you face divorce or the end of a relationship, your children are your utmost priority. At the Law Office of Susan Castleton Ryan, P.C., our mission is your success. Our team will work to ensure your rights and your children's best interests are protected.
Legal Vs. Physical Custody
Every family is different, and it is important to work with an attorney who can help you create a custom plan to suit your and your children's needs. As a part of your parenting plan, we can help you determine whether one or both parents should have physical and legal custody rights.
Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding education, religion, medical care and other issues. Physical custody refers to where a child spends his or her days and nights. Legal custody is often shared equally, while physical custody frequently entails designating a custodial parent and awarding the noncustodial parent ample time with the child.
How Custody Is Determined In Massachusetts
Child custody laws in Massachusetts focus on the best interests of the child. It is desirable to keep both parents actively involved in a child's life as long as that is not disruptive to the child.
Factors considered when determining custody include:
- Each parent's ability and willingness to care for the child
- The child's school and community situation
- The role of each parent in the child's life before the parents' relationship ended
- Any history of drug/alcohol abuse or physical abuse by either parent
- The residence of any of the child's siblings
Your Advocate In Child Support Matters
Massachusetts law requires parents to provide financial support for a child until their emancipation. Child support is determined according to Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines, which act as a formula. However, there is a lot more to determining proper child support payments than plugging numbers into a formula. Complex issues, such as tax consequences, self-employment, and ownership of businesses often come into play.
We have extensive experience representing clients with a wide array of complex financial situations that impact both child support and spousal support decisions. Whether you expect to receive or pay child support, we will carefully analyze your situation and protect your interests at every turn.
Modifying Custody And Support
We also represent clients regarding petitions to modify existing parenting plans or child support orders due to a change in circumstances. These may include a child's increased educational or health care needs, a significant change in income for either parent, or significant changes in a parent's work schedule.
We Can Answer Your Questions During A Free Consultation
Call 781-523-9087 or email us to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer who will protect your interests in all aspects of family law. We represent clients throughout Plymouth County and the South Shore from our office in Abington.