One of the most important issues in Divorce is often the custody of children.  There are two kinds of custody in Massachusetts: legal and physical.

As part of any custody proceeding (not necessarily a divorce action), parents get physical and/or legal custody.  The court considers these two separate types of custody.

Physical Custody:

Physical custody is where the child or children will reside.  One parent can get physical custody or both parents can get it, depending upon the arrangement.  Usually the party who has physical custody gets support from the other parent.

Legal Custody:

Legal custody has nothing to do with where a child lives, but who can make legal decisions for the child.  In most cases, both parents, regardless of physical custody, have legal custody of the minor children.  However, there are exceptions for abuse and domestic violence.  Legal custody allows you to make medical decisions for your child and get access to their school and medical records.

How does it work in Massachusetts?

The courts have been changing over the last decade or so and no longer favor one parent over another.  It used to be that mothers always got physical custody and fathers ended up with every other weekend and one night a week for a few hours.  Now parents are encouraged to figure out a schedule that works so that both parents have adequate parenting time with their children.

Please click here to see our page dedicated to children and divorce for some tips on how to make divorce easier for your children.


If you are thinking about divorce or are going through a divorce, we can help.  Please call me at 866-981-7888 or email me at to set up a consultation.

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