Paternity, Custody & Child Support Springfield MA
When discussing child custody and support, often people immediately think of divorce, but there are numerous situations in which the legal interests of children need to be decided for umarried couples. Attorney Michelle Begley has handled many cases in Hampden and Hampshire County involving:
- Unmarried parents
- Same-sex partners
- Custody and Visitation
- Paying for college
- Child and spousal support
- Temporary custody motions
- Parenting plans
Unmarried Partners With Children
No matter your previous partnership status, every parent has a right to be involved in his or her child’s life. Determining custody and visitation in these situations is often intricately related to paternity, residence, recognition of parental duties. Situations involving unmarried parents can be particularly complex and it is of the utmost importance to secure the legal counsel of an attorney specializing in family law.
Support And Financial Obligations
Although Massachusetts has legal guidelines regarding child and spousal support, not all aspects of financial planning are covered by statute.
When a separation, divorce or paternity action involves children, custody and visitation are often of primary concern. When parents come to Begley Webster, LLC looking for a Springfield-based child custody and visitation attorney, they are often wondering what rules and regulations exist in Massachusetts and what kinds of options are available to them. With family law specialization, our attorney knows exactly the types of issues you and your family may face.
Legal Versus Physical Custody
When thinking about custody, often parents are most concerned with where their child will live. When it comes to legal custody, however, of primary concern are the parental rights or the ability to make important decisions on behalf of a child. Legal custody involves making decisions about where a child may go to school and if a child is to receive medical treatment or see a psychologist.
It is possible for both parents to have equal legal custody, while one parent retains primary physical custody. Child support is related to physical custody. Child Support is calculated in relation to physical custody, and the nonprimary parent is typically obligated to help pay child support. Our attorney understands that every family situation is different, and your goals may change as the process continues.
Visitation And Parenting Time
In cases where one parent is granted primary physical custody, the nonprimary parent is entitled to visitation, or parenting time. If you feel that your child’s other parent should not have equal access to your child and wish to limit their parenting time, you must show the court that there has been a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or physical or sexual abuse by one parent directed against the other parent, a spouse or a child. The court will always consider the best interest of the child.
If you and your partner have children but are no longer together, it is important to seek the counsel of an expert child support and spousal support lawyer. Springfield attorney Michelle Begley has handled support and maintenance cases for divorced couples, domestic partners and unmarried parents. Every case is different, and our firm is committed to extremely individualized support and planning.
In Massachusetts, child support payments are calculated based on a formula the court uses.
Although there are statutes that help determine these calculations, as with child support, it is possible for every couple to determine their own arrangement. As a firm specializing in family law, we have helped families with these agreements many times and can help you achieve your goals, too. instance, a couple may decide to off-set the child support obligation based upon equal amount of time with the children.
As with child custody, it is possible to secure a modification of child support. A modification can be attained if there has been a significant change in your financial circumstances or if your former partner’s circumstances have changed significantly.