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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Lovin' Series: What happens if one parent wants full custody of a child born out of wedlock?

Summer is finally here.  The air is humid, the sunblock is out, and it's finally time for vacations and school break.  But enjoying summer too much has its consequences.  Our Summer Lovin' series is about those consequences for Unmarried Parents in Massachusetts:

Summer Lovin' Series #9: What happens if I want full custody of a child born out of wedlock?

Unmarried mothers in Massachusetts are presumed to be the sole legal and physical custodian of a child without going to court.  If the father requests it, the court can order that either party have sole legal or physical custody or that the parties share legal or physical custody depending on your specific circumstances.

However, "full custody" is somewhat of a myth, because unless the other parent is unfit they will still be involved in the child's life to some extent.

While sole legal custody allows one parent to make major decisions, sole physical custody does not mean the child is always with one parent.  Sole physical custody typically means that one parent has the child two thirds of the time or more, and the other parent has time with the child one third of the time or less.  Often these labels are less important than working out a practical parenting plan.

For more information visit our webpage devoted specifically to information for unmarried parents.


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