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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  General practice of law with emphasis in family law.
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Ma name is. I have an 8 year old daughter. I am a single

Customer Question

Hello, ma name is***** have an 8 year old daughter. I am a single mother. I reside in the state of Massachusetts with my daughter my mom and my stepfather. My daughters father lives in new Hampshire with his wife and younger daughter. We currently have nothing legal through the courts with our daughter as to child support/custody/visitation. At one point we had a verbal agreement that went downhill when my daughter expressed to my mom about being scared to go visit with her father because they like to yell a lot. Now I have read that in the state of Massachusetts a single mother has sole custody if there is nothing through the courts. I am now being threatened with court. I want to know what I should be prepared for if it truly comes to that point.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Hello Amanda.

This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.

To be clear, the Father is filing for custody? And you want to know what happens if he files? And the Father is listed on the birth certificate?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has not filed yet. Has only threatened. Yes he is on the birth certificate. Has never paid child support. And in the state of Massachusetts he has no custody due to the fact we have never been married or had anything legalized
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

If he files, I suggest you can show that he has never been a participating parent to the child. And as long as you can show that your daughter is well adjusted, living in a safe and happy environment and that you are a good, decent and sound parent, then the best he could hope to achieve is some sort of visitation, which you could request be supervised at first because your daughter does not know him and therefore would need time to be acclimated to the Father's presence.

You are correct that he has no custody at this time. And if he files for it, he would need to file in Massachusetts because that is the resident state of the child. Keep in mind that until there is a court order granting him visits, you are under no legal obligation to allow visits.

As to child support, you can file in Massachusetts to have child support ordered, because he is on the birth certificate. And it has nothing to do with him having any custody or visitation rights.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

So if he files for any custody or visitation, it needs to be filed in Mass. If he files anywhere else, you will file a Motion to Dismiss because the jurisdiction is not correct. If he files in Mass, you should consider being prepared by showing how well adjusted your daughter is with her school grades, activities in and out of school. Have persons familiar with her and your parenting skills as character witnesses.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My daughter knows him for the first few years he was very involved and after a while it became an in and out type of situation. He will only see her if she goes to his house which she is not always comfortable with doing but he doesn't accept the idea of having to come see her.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Thank you. If it has not been consistent visits, I suggest you can still request they be supervised at first and in Mass. where your daughter is comfortable.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Again, you are under no legal obligation to allow any visits until a court orders you to do so.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

And I suggest if she is not comfortable a court would rule to have visits in Mass. as it is always in the best interest of the child when a court rules. They are not going to rule for his convenience.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know here if you have other questions or need clarification. Otherwise a Positive rating ensures i get credit for my time.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.