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 […]

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 […]

Parental Fitness or Best Interests of the Child? Balancing the Interests of Parent and Child in Custody Disputes

How does a court determine who gets custody of a child? “Parental fitness” and “the best interests of the child” are standards that are used together to make custody and guardianship decisions in Massachusetts. See Veronica Serrato, “Case Comment: Best interests of the child versus unfitness of the parent: Unraveling the intertwinement,” 94 Mass. L.R. […]