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January 2015 Archives

Virtual visitation and Massachusetts child custody

Advancing technology is demonstrating ongoing repercussions in Massachusetts family court as more agreements for child custody and visitation take email, text messaging and Internet conferencing into account. This type of visitation, known as virtual visitation, is becoming increasingly popular as a way of fostering stronger emotional bonds and allowing more parenting time in a nontraditional medium. While there is no defining doctrine for virtual visitation, there is no stipulation against such arrangements.

When a non-custodial parent fails to exercise designated time

In many Massachusetts divorces involving children, one parent is designated as the custodial parent, and the other is designated as the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is usually awarded some amount of visitation time. That time can range from a few hours during the week all the way up to several days and nights per week. When the non-custodial parent fails to exercise their right to this time, it can cause several problems for the child and the custodial parent.

The difference between fixed and reasonable visitation

When a Massachusetts court orders visitation, it may order reasonable or fixed visitation. It is important for parents to understand the differences between these two types of visitation and what their responsibilities will be in each situation. A failure to comply with the visitation order can result in contempt charges, possible loss of custody and other consequences.

How child support is calculated in Massachusetts

When Massachusetts parents are going through a divorce, the court will in most cases determine how much child support should be awarded in one of two ways. The first is to consider an agreement submitted by both parties. If no agreement has been submitted, the court will use the second method, which is to use the state child support guidelines to calculate the amount. Both parties will have an opportunity to rebut the court's child support determination.

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