Armstrong Law, P.C.

Lowell Massachusetts Family Law Blog

What happens in child custody cases where abuse is a factor?

If you and your minor child are escaping an abusive household via divorce, you may have concerns about Massachusetts courts awarding full or partial child custody or even visitation rights to your abusive former spouse. You have a right to protect your children, which means using the full extent of legal provisions available to demonstrate child abuse to the satisfaction of the court. Luckily, the state has a number of statutes in place to handle this matter.

Per Section 31A of Massachusetts general law, the courts must take the best interests of the child into account when considering temporary or permanent custody or visitation rights. This includes evidence of any prior or current abuse toward that child. Abuse can be defined either as a single serious incident or a pattern of recurring incidents, and encompasses everything from causing or attempting bodily harm to forced sexual relations. You may present evidence of such abuse to the courts to make a case for revoking the other parent's access to your child.

Prenups can be a critical part of the property division process

When two people get married, they make a serious commitment to each other that isn't rivaled by many other institutions or responsibilities. However, there are times where the married couple realizes that their relationship can't go on. They see the writing on the wall, and they accept the irreconcilable differences they now share. A divorce shortly follows, and then the soon-to-be-former spouses have to figure out what happens to the property they have accumulated over the years.

Some couples will sign a prenuptial agreement before they walk down the aisle. This contract makes the process of dividing up property upon the realization of a divorce far simpler, and the spouses can benefit greatly from having a prenuptial agreement involved in their marriage.

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