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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 118229
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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In Massachusetts, does the unmarried mother have sole legal

Customer Question

In Massachusetts, does the unmarried mother have sole legal and physical custody of her children?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unless there is a court order of custody, in MA, even a single mother is not considered conclusively to have full sole custody (because many single mothers do indeed share custody with the father). In order to conclusively have sole custody, the mother needs to file a petition for custody in court and get a court order since he is claiming he has shared custody. Under MA law, BOTH parents have equal rights to the child and to make decisions for the child, unless there is a court order of custody in place. Thus, if you want sole custody and want support put in placed and be enforced by child support enforcement, you need to file your petition for custody in court and get the court to put the custody order on paper for you to enforce against him.
If you cannot afford an attorney to do so, you need to go to legal aid to get them to assist you or call the MA or Boston Bar Association (depending on where in MA you are located) and they have pro bono attorneys around the state who can assist.