About Divorce and Child Custody in Quincy

Quincy is located south of Boston using Interstate 93, and is located in Norfolk County, Massachusetts.  This page contains information for people that live or work in Quincy that have family law issues, including child custody.

Norfolk Family and Probate Court

The Norfolk Family and Probate Courthouse, which serves Quincy, Massachusetts, is located at 35 Shawmut Road Canton, MA 02021 and has jurisdiction for all family and probate issues in Norfolk County.  It is accessible through the Providence / Stoughton Commuter Rail Line of the MBTA with the closest stop being approximately one and a half from the courthouse.  The courthouse is open from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. and offers free parking in the front and rear of the courthouse.

About Quincy

Quincy is the largest city in Norfolk County, and the eighth largest in Massachusetts. Quincy is known as the City of Presidents for being the birthplace of two U.S. Presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, as well as former President of the Continental Congress John Hancock. The area was first settled in 1625 where it spent time as being part of Dorchester and Boston before becoming a part of Braintree in 1640. It was not until 1792 that Quincy split from Braintree and became a city after the Civil War in 1888.

Quincy’s economy was bolstered by the granite industry for over a century and was the site of the United States first commercial railroad, the Granite Railway. Shipbuilding is also a part of Quincy’s history lead by the Fort River Shipyard. Quincy is the founding location of Howard Johnson’s, the hotel chain, as well as Dunkin Donuts. It also holds the headquarters of Stop & Shop supermarkets, The Patriot Ledger, Boston Financial Data Services, and Arbella Insurance Group.

Quincy is made up of nearly 27 square miles with over 10 miles of it being covered in water. It is located less than 12 miles from Boston on route 93. It is serviced by the Greenbush line of the MTA. Quincy also boasts many beautiful parks including Squantum Point Park which offers views of the Boston Skyline across as well as being home to dozens of species of wild birds.

Child Custody Lawyer in Quincy

Child custody is not as straightforward as some might have you believe. Considerations are given for both legal and physical custody of a child, which arise in paternity actions as well as divorce and separate support matters.  Legal and physical custody orders, however, are not always “all or nothing” as they can be designated into joint or sole custody in each form.  The term “parenting time” is used to describe each parent’s actual childcare time with their child.  It is important to know what each type of custody is, and the implications that it will have on you emotionally, practically, and financially as a parent.  Both legal custody and physical custody are explained below.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is custody in the rights of the child. It has no implications on who the child lives with after the divorce.  Legal custody does dictate how involved a parent is with the choices that they make for their child. This form of custody allows for the parent to be involved in the important aspects of the child pertaining to education, medical, and religious as well as the amount of access that the parent will have to those records. When a parent gets sole legal custody it allows that parents can make all decisions pertaining to those important aspects of the child’s life. They also will be the only parent able to access their child’s records without permission from the court. If the parents agree to joint legal custody, both parents will work together in determining the choices that are made for the child. Access to the child is also granted to both the parents.  It is rare that a court will grant one party sole legal custody over a child.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is who the child will live with following the divorce.  The phrase “parenting time” means the actual day-to-day schedule of when each parent is obligated to care for his or her child.  If sole physical custody is granted to one parent, it generally does not mean that the other parent will never get to see the child as visitation (parenting time) can give the other parent options to see their child both for short periods of time during a day and possibly even overnight, weekend, or even weeks of visitation. In Massachusetts, neither parent is given preferred physical custody over the other, and instead the court considers the best interest of the child when determining custody.  Joint physical custody allows both parents to have their child for designated periods of time throughout the year. No one formula determines how custody will be split by a parenting plan that the parties will determine how the communicate, how they pick up and drop off the children, how holidays will be spent, and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

Divorces are difficult for everyone, including children. The courts attempt to minimize this by using child support in an effort to maintain the standard of living the children were accustom to as well as provide a consistency to the child’s life. This often requires one parent to pay the other parent to help equalize the household income. Child support and custody are modifiable and will require you to go back to court. You will need to show a material and substantial change in order to change these and often times they are sensitive to time. Hiring a family law specialist can ensure that your modifications are timely and accurate to give you the best chance of success.

When parties divorce the children are the primary concern to the court. The next issue is how you decide, or the court decides, how to split what was once one household into two. The court will look for an equitable, or fair division instead of an equal split of the assets. The court will look at a multitude of factors including income potential and household contributions. Hiring a family law attorney can ensure that you are getting a fair share of the division of property. Although factors are considered and each case is different, family law attorneys are able to get a fairly accurate estimate of what your case will come down to. They are able to use this information to help you decide if you want to work out an agreement or litigate the matter.

For additional information about child custody, click here.


If you live or work in Quincy and are interested in divorce, child custody or other family law matters, please feel free to contact our office today.  We have offices conveniently located to Quincy in Hingham, Needham, and the Financial District in downtown Boston.