In Massachusetts, there are a few different types of child custody, according to Massachusetts divorce laws, that can be awarded to one or more parents. Joint physical care, joint legal care, and sole physical care each separate a parent from having complete control over their children’s lives as they would with sole legal or sole physical care.
Different types of child custody are defined by the state of Massachusetts. The first type of child custody is a sole parental responsibility, which means that one parent has the responsibility to provide care for the child and decisions about the children’s education, health care, and religious upbringing. Joint or shared custody has both parents share in the rights and responsibilities of raising their children. If a child is born out of wedlock, mothers can claim parental responsibility without being married to the father.
Let us see more into different types of child custody in Massachusetts.
- Sole legal custody
Responsibility for a child in Massachusetts is not always shared equally. Sole legal custody gives one parent exclusive rights to make decisions about a child’s life without consulting the other parent. In some cases, courts may award sole legal custody when there is evidence that the other parent is unable to care for the child or has been abusive to the child.
- Shared legal custody
In Massachusetts, shared legal custody is the arrangement in which the parents share decision-making responsibilities over a child. Shared legal custody means that both parents must confer on major, permanent decisions about their child’s life, such as schooling and medical care. Generally, shared legal custody is only awarded if both parents agree to it.
- Sole physical custody
Sole physical custody, also known as residential custody, gives one parent the right to care for their child full-time. Parents who opt for sole physical custody are not required to meet the other parent’s wishes, but they must prove that this is in the best interest of the child. This option has both positive and negative aspects, which are outlined below.
- Shared physical custody
The laws in Massachusetts for shared physical custody are fairly straightforward. A shared physical custody agreement provides that the children spend at least 34 days with one parent, then the other parent has at least 34 days, but may vary depending on what is agreed to by both parents.