Child Custody Empowering You to Move Forward

Worcester Child Custody Lawyers

Helping Westborough & Hanover Residents Create & Maintain Custody Arrangements

There are many tough decisions that divorcing parents may face. Determining how to best care for your child can be challenging in any circumstance, but a divorce can result in further complications. In some situations, a divorcing couple may come to an agreement through negotiations. In other circumstances, parents may have difficulty agreeing, and, as a result, one parent may feel unsure about what their next steps should be.

For help protecting your parental rights, reach out to O’Connor Family Law. Call us at (774) 214-2137 today.

You do not have to leave your child’s future to chance. With over 35 combined years of family law experience, our legal team can help you demonstrate to the court how the custody schedule you want is also in your child’s best interests. Speaking with our Worcester child custody lawyers can help you prepare for what comes next.

Massachusetts’ Child’s Best Interest Standard

The guiding principle for all custody decisions made by a judge is known as the “best interest of the child” standard. This standard requires the court to focus on how custody decisions would best benefit a child, not necessarily simply what their parents want.

Under Massachusetts’ state law, when the child is born during his or her parent’s marriage, each of the parents is equally responsible for the care of the child.

There are certain issues that, of course, will affect that presumption such as:

  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • domestic violence
  • mental health issues that could lead to the neglect or harm of a child
  • varying other factors

Besides considering what is in the best interests of the child at issue, there are no formally set factors the judge must consider when deciding child custody matters. Therefore, judges who hear these cases have wide discretion under the law to do as he or she sees fit so long as the judge believes it is in the child’s best interest.

Oftentimes, to determine what is in the child’s best interest, judges will prioritize the child’s:

  • welfare
  • happiness
  • stability

When making decisions regarding custody, the judge will often consider the past and previous care and living conditions provided by each parent. Additionally, the court may take careful consideration of any physical or emotional trauma a minor may have suffered.

Types of Child Custody in Worcester

There are two types of custody that must be determined in any case involving children: physical custody and legal custody:

  • Physical custody dictates with whom and where your child will reside.
  • Legal custody determines who can make legal decisions over your child. A judge may award sole or shared physical or legal custody.

If the judge awards one parent sole physical custody (sometimes also referred to as “primary placement”), the child will live with that parent the majority of the time and usually spend approximately 30% of the time with the non-custodial parent. Shared physical custody, on the other hand, involves minors sharing significant time between the homes of both parents. This may be on an equal 50-50 basis or could be somewhere between 30% and 50% of the time.

Legal custody relates to decision making on behalf of the child. If a parent has sole legal custody, they alone are entitled to make determinations regarding the child’s:

  • health
  • education
  • religious upbringing

However, shared legal custody allows both parents to have an equal say in these types of decisions. Our Westborough custody attorneys can work to obtain a favorable outcome for a parent seeking a child custody order.

Speak with Our Worcester Child Custody Attorneys

If you want to ensure that you have the best chance at getting the custody arrangement you believe is best for your child, our dedicated team at O’Connor Family Law can work tirelessly to try to help you obtain outcomes you desire. Passively waiting for someone else to make the decision for you does not usually get you the best results, especially if you have an ex who likes to dictate the time or the say that you can or cannot have with your child. Whether you are seeking sole or shared custody, your choice of legal help is crucial to obtaining the result you want.

Contact our firm by calling (774) 214-2137 today to get started on your case.

What Our Clients Say

Divorce Is Not a Loss - See How Some of Our Clients Have Overcome Their Situations.
  • My representation was far more superior than my ex-husbands.

    “Ms. O’Connor is all about the details because that’s what wins cases. Heather represented me in my divorce case and from the moment we first talked until the moment we went to court, she did not miss a single detail.”

    - Vicki
  • Thank you, Heather!

    “Heather immediately got the restraining order thrown out and helped me rebuild my relationship with my kids. I am now back in my marital with full custody of my kids.”

    - Jim
  • Attorney O’Connor is a professional and compassionate attorney.

    “Attorney O’Connor is a professional and compassionate attorney. She will fight for your children’s rights and yours. Attorney O’Connor is someone you need on your team when you have a complex case, she is not afraid.”

    - James
  • I would definitely recommend her.

    “She did an excellent job with a support modification, and was amazing in court!! I would definitely recommend her to anyone going through what I went through!! Thanks again Heather!!!”

    - Raymond
  • Heather is brilliant.

    Heather is brilliant. Her advice has been invaluable. She has an enormous heart and truly cares about people.”

    - Former Client

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

Call 774-214-2137 or fill out the form below to get started on your next step.

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