There is No Presumption of Joint Custody in Massachusetts


The law specifically details that if parents in a divorce action are set to litigate the issue of child custody and visitation, and have therefore failed to reach an agreement on custody, there is no presumptions for or against shared legal and physical custody.

The statute that indicates there is no presumption favoring or disfavoring is M.G.L.A. c. 208, § 31. This state of the law is different than many other states which provide for a presumption that joint legal and physical custody is in the best interests of a child.

If the parties will have a trial on the issue of custody and visitation because they cannot agree, there is a rule presuming that the parties will submit a proposed custody plan including details about their plan for the child’s education, health care, procedures for resolving disputes, physical custody times for each parent, and so forth.

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Our firm serves Boston as well as all courts in Bristol County, including the New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton courthouses.  We also serve all courts in Plymouth County including the Family and Probate Courthouses in Plymouth and Brockton.