Modification Empowering You to Move Forward

Hanover Child Custody Modification Lawyer

Visitation and custody disputes give rise to some of the most emotional issues faced by family courts. Judges must balance parental rights with children’s best interests and be careful not to disrupt settled custody orders. Significant custody alterations often require a thorough investigation into your child’s wellbeing and the court’s jurisdiction.

Housing and financial situations are likely to change after divorce, often requiring parenting plan revisions. Working with a compassionate Hanover child custody modification lawyer may reduce the stress of reopening sensitive visitation matters. Because our extraordinary team has over 35 combined years of exclusive family law experience, our attorneys are prepared to help you understand your parental rights and discuss alternatives to comprehensive judicial intervention.

Regulations for Modifying Child Custody Orders in Hanover

Judges may issue child custody and visitation orders before parents have the opportunity to adequately reorganize their lives after divorce. The Massachusetts Child Custody Jurisdiction Act controls whether Commonwealth judges can legally modify visitation orders. This law states that, unless there is an emergency situation, the child must reside in the Commonwealth with the custodial parent for at least six consecutive months if a Massachusetts family court did not enter the original custody declaration.

Judges may only alter child custody determinations under Mass. Gen. Law, Chap. 208, §28 as long as there was a relevant and significant change in one or more parties’ circumstances and a modification of custody serves the child’s best interest. Alternatively, parents may jointly petition to modify a custody order if the changes would benefit the child or an emergency arises.

Material and Substantial Changes Permitting Custody Modification Petitions

If an interested party objects to a proposed modification, judges must decide whether circumstances have materially and substantially changed. Grounds for modification of custody commonly involve alterations to a parent’s work schedule, job, residence, or financial stability. For example, a non-custodial parent may request shared custody and visitation once they find a steady job and housing after a divorce.

Emergencies also qualify as grounds to modify custody orders. Courts may temporarily or permanently change a visitation arraignment if:

  • A custodial parent dies or develops a serious illness
  • One party abandons or endangers the child
  • There were instances of abuse or negligent
  • One parent is deployed
  • One party was charged with a serious crime or imprisoned
  • The child requires protection or out-of-state medical care

One of our experienced lawyers in Hanover can help you petition for emergency child custody and visitation modifications. The safety and wellbeing of your child should always come first.

Best Interest Standards Governing Changes to Custody Decrees

While the appropriate grounds for requesting a modification must exist, the child’s best interest still controls custody and visitation determinations. When determining what is in a child’s best interests, judges must generally consider:

  • Any instances of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse
  • Any parental history of drug dependence, alcoholism, or criminal convictions
  • The parents’ ability to work together to support their children
  • The child’s wishes and current situational stability
  • The child’s mental health and current living conditions
  • Any special medical or educational needs of the child
  • Instances of parental desertion or neglect

The court may appoint a qualified guardian ad litem to analyze these factors and make educated recommendations. With the help of an experienced attorney, co-parents can develop an agreement on the modification on child custody that can be submitted to the court to be entered as a judgment. However, judges must still consider the above factors and, if the proposed modification is one the court believes may destabilize or negatively impact the child, the court may reject even a joint proposal.

Speak with a Hanover Child Custody Modification Attorney

At O’Connor Family Law, we understand that your child’s needs come first. Whether you are seeking a modification to your current custody order, or you are contesting a petition to change your existing arrangement, we want to help you protect your family and parental rights. For more information about how to handle these cases, contact one of our Hanover child custody modification lawyers today.

What Our Clients Say

Divorce Is Not a Loss - See How Some of Our Clients Have Overcome Their Situations.
  • I will definitely be referring others to Jolee!

    “I had a tight budget and felt comfortable with their communication about it and the estimate of cost they provided. Jolee asked great questions and seemed to be experienced and knowledgeable.”

    - Nathan P.
  • Caitlyn kept the interests of the child front and center through this process!

    “She was responsive and I believe we reached a good result under the circumstances.”

    - John K.
  • It was such a pleasure to work with Sasha Khan.

    “Sasha was very professional and so caring. ?I spoke to a lot of lawyers prior to choosing to work with Sasha. Once I met with her, I felt comfortable that she will fight for me and my 6 years old son and she did.”

    - Mulu K.
  • O'Connor Family law and its staff were exemplary and highly responsive in facilitating what I needed when I needed it.

    “Caitlin Fletcher handled the sensitive matters regarding my litigation with professionalism and understanding. I felt at all times, advocated and given a clear understanding of my legal options. ...”

    - Michael S.
  • I was represented by Sasha Khan in my divorce and would highly recommend her and O’ Connor Family Law for anyone going through a high conflict divorce.

    “I was represented by Sasha Khan in my divorce and would highly recommend her and O’ Connor Family Law for anyone going through a high conflict divorce. Sasha was always quick to respond to emails and ...”

    - Catherine J.
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How We Operate

Empowering You to Move Forward 
  • Education

    We don't believe in telling you what to do. Our team's goal is to educate and provide you with favorable options so that you feel empowered to choose the best outcome for yours and your family's needs. 

  • Team-Focused

    When you work with our firm you become part of a collaborative team. You can rest assured that you have a team of two attorneys and a paralegal behind you, who are always up to date on your case. 

  • Compassionate & Aggressive

    When it comes to divorce amicability is our first step - when that doesn't work, we are not afraid to throw on the gloves. As seasoned litigators, we understand that litigation is not a game; it is fighting for justice for you and your children.

Helping You Make the Best Out of Your Situation

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