child custody

After a three month maternity leave, and a few months adjusting to being a full-time working mom, I’m excited to be back to contributing my thoughts to this blog! I’m also excited to be writing on a topic that I not only find interesting but also encounter a great deal in my practice – interstate custody disputes.

Pure Home State Jurisdiction

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a piece about the differences between child custody laws in Massachusetts and Rhode Island with a specific focus on the differences between the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). As detailed in the previous post, Massachusetts was the lone hold-out in adopting the UCCJEA, retaining pure home state jurisdiction when determining where to litigate child custody disputes.… Keep reading

parent education program
“Whaddya mean, I have to take a class!?”

As a family law attorney, I’m often met with surprise (even outrage!) when I tell my clients that they’re required to participate in a Parent Education Program in connection with their Massachusetts divorce. People always say that it’s so much easier to get married than it is to get divorced, and that’s not entirely without merit.

While everyone knows that divorce is a costly process, both financially and emotionally, litigants too often become so focused on their own pain that they lose sight of the emotional toll the process can put on their children. Recently there have been some important changes to the Parent Education Program.… Keep reading

Thinking of moving? Check the child custody laws in that state to see if there are differences.
Thinking of moving? Different child custody laws in each state may make things even more complicated.

While the borders between Massachusetts and Rhode Island appear to be incredibly permeable, this is just not the case when dealing with custody of children. With few exceptions, the home state of the child is where a court proceeding for custody of that child must be commenced. The home state is defined as the state he or she has resided in for six months prior to the beginning of custody proceedings. Put a different way, the residency of the child, not the parents, determines where an initial custody proceeding must be brought.… Keep reading