Family Law

Our Family Law practice plans and resolves issues related to parenting and family. At Hutchins Law, our primary goal is to retain or return harmony in our clients’ homes. We help guide our clients through modifications or enforcement of current orders, paternity and adoption, custody, visitation and support.

Establishing Legal Rights to Children of Non-Biological, Same-Sex Parents

In honor of National Adoption Day, which is always the Saturday before the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re pleased to share with you an equally important case involving a same-sex, non-marital relationship, where the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that a non-biological, same-sex parent can be presumed to be a child’s parent under Mass. Gen. Laws c. […]

When Does A Parent Become An Unfit Parent?

At what point does a parent become unfit to parent and maintain custody of their child(ren)? A recent decision by the Massachusetts Appeals Court highlighted some of the trouble spots that a judge considers when determining whether to adjudicate a parent unfit.

Prenuptial Agreements

In a previous BLOG from the same case, we discussed some extraordinary and seemingly one-sided separation agreement language dealing with the issue of removal. Schechter v. Schechter, Mass. App. Ct. No. 13-P-1035. September 9, 2015, is the case that keeps on giving. Because in the same decision from the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the case also […]

Your Separation Agreement Says What?!

Last year, the Massachusetts Appeals Court rendered a decision which, among other, reiterated longstanding legal precedent regarding a custodial parent’s ability to remove a minor child from the Commonwealth. See Schechter v. Schechter, Mass. App. Ct. No. 13-P-1035. September 9, 2015. What sets Schechter apart from other cases dealing with removal isn’t the fact that […]

Marta – Leominster, MA

My family is extremely grateful to Attorney Hutchins for handling a custody case on behalf of our granddaughter. His knowledge, empathy and sense of urgency eliminated all the stress and heartache we anticipated. He took care of everything in a matter of a few short weeks. We highly recommend him…and will seek him out for […]

You Have a Right to an Attorney, But Only if Your Case is “Meritorious”

BREAKING NEWS! The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that an indigent, unrepresented parent(s) seeking to 1) remove a guardian or 2) modify the terms of the guardianship “by seeking a substantial change in the provisions for visitation,” is entitled to have an attorney appointed, “provided the parent presents a meritorious claim.” See L.B. & […]

It’s Called Child Support For A Reason: It Belongs to the Child

Many employees benefit from employer provided stock programs. But did you know that in a divorce involving a child support obligation that income realized from vested restricted stock units (“RSU”) could be included for purposes of calculating child support? This was the issue in the recent Massachusetts Appeals case Hoegen v. Hoegen, Mass.App.Ct. No. 14-P-1491. […]

Divorcing Parents and Moving Children

When contemplating a divorce, one spouse may desire to relocate to another state, for various reasons. If there are children involved in the divorce, and the spouse desiring to relocate is the primary custodian of those children, moving to another state is not a guarantee. A recent decision by the Massachusetts Appeals Court added to […]

Adoptions, Sperm Donors and Notice

Adoptions are the happiest occurrences that take place in any courthouse on any given day. But because of advances in science that allow for artificial insemination, legal determinations must continually be made as to what constitutes being a “lawful parent.” The question raised in a recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court case of Adoption of a […]

The Terminator: No More Parental Rights

Occasionally we’re asked what the law requires in order to terminate a parent’s rights to their child. Here’s the answer: “[A] judge must find, by clear and convincing evidence, that the natural parent is unfit to further the welfare and best interests of the child.” See Adoption of Peggy, 436 Mass. 690, 701 (2002). Beyond […]