Child Support & Custody
For parents of young children, the most difficult part of a divorce or other family law dispute is often the worry about how it will affect their child. When you do not live in the same household as your child’s other parent, you may have many concerns. Where will your child live? If you are not living with them, how will you get to spend time together? Who will make important decisions about your child’s life? Will you have to pay child support, or will you receive it?
At Krispin Law, we are not just a law firm; we are parents too. We understand that child support and custody are not just legal issues—they are deeply personal ones. We have the experience, skill, and compassion to represent you and advocate for you in these challenging matters.
Understanding Massachusetts Child Custody and Child Support
If you are involved in a child support or child custody dispute, it is helpful to understand some basics about Massachusetts custody and support. When we talk about child custody, we are really talking about two things: physical custody (where the child lives) and legal custody (who makes decisions about the child’s education, extracurricular activities, religious upbringing, and healthcare).
Massachusetts courts often award primary physical custody to one parent so that the child will have a stable living situation. The other parent will usually have parenting time, which used to be called visitation. The change in terminology reflects that a parent is not just a “visitor” in their child’s life. Courts often award joint legal custody, because it is important for parents to work together if possible to make major decisions for their child.
You do not need to let the court make decisions about physical and legal custody for your family. If you and your child’s other parent can make a parenting plan, the court will approve it so long as it appears to be in your child’s best interest. If you cannot reach an agreement on custody, even with the help of your attorneys or a mediator, the court will make a custody decision based on what it determines to be in the best interest of the child.
In Massachusetts, as a general rule, the non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. As with child custody, parents may agree on the amount of support. If they cannot agree, support will be awarded based on the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines consider a number of factors, including each parent’s income, the number of children and their ages, and any child care and health insurance expenses.
Krispin Law’s Approach to Child Support and Custody
Krispin Law offers clients the benefit of extensive experience in Massachusetts child support and custody matters. We know how difficult these cases can be for parents. We give you the compassionate support you need along with honest, direct advice based on our legal knowledge and experience. We work to negotiate a parenting plan that is best for you and your children. If it is not possible to reach an agreement, we will advocate persuasively for your position in court.
A child custody or child support order may be in effect for many years. Because circumstances often change during that time, Krispin Law also represents clients when it becomes necessary to modify support or custody (or oppose a modification). We also represent Massachusetts parents who need to enforce a custody or support order that the other parent is not following.
To learn more about how our team can help with your Massachusetts child support or custody matter, we invite you to contact Krispin Law to schedule a consultation. We offer both in-person and virtual consultations for your convenience.