Establishing Child Custody & Visitation

The Best Interests of the Child

Child custody and visitation questions are often the most heart-wrenching and conflict-filled aspect of divorce proceedings.  Visitation is also referred to as a "parenting plan."

Even when parents say they agree on child custody and visitation, sadly enough, conflicts are still likely to arise. In most cases, the best way to lessen the possibility of future conflict over child-related issues is to create a detailed agreement about child custody and visitation during divorce proceedings.

Harsip & Stuart, P.C.: Attorneys for Child Custody Disputes

The family law attorneys of Harsip & Stuart, located in Acton, Massachusetts, have decades of experience representing both mothers and fathers in child custody disputes that arise during and after divorce. We help our clients set realistic expectations in light of the facts of their case and current child custody laws in Massachusetts. With our years of experience, our lawyers are often able to offer our clients creative — and mutually acceptable — solutions to some of the more difficult child custody situations. Frequently asked questions regarding custody include:

  • Should custody be shared or granted exclusively to one parent?
  • Should the non-custodial parent be supervised during visitation, to protect the child's safety?
  • What if the custodial parent wants to move out of state with the child?
  • What if one parent violates the parenting plan by refusing visitation, or by refusing to return the child after scheduled visitation?
  • What is the difference between legal and physical custody?

Protecting the Children in Child Custody Disputes: When a child custody dispute becomes a high-conflict case, the attorneys at Harsip & Stuart often recommend to our client that we ask the judge to appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL). A guardian ad litem is an independent investigator appointed by the court who will represent the child's best interests during a custody dispute. Attorney Barry Harsip has served as a guardian ad litem and understands the value of a guardian ad litem in difficult divorce cases.  We may also recommend a parenting coordinator to help create a parenting plan.

Get Answers to Your Questions About Child Custody

Early legal advice is important in child custody conflicts. At Harsip & Stuart we offer free 20-minute initial consultations for prospective new clients. To make a confidential appointment, call 978-264-0250 or send us an e-mail via our contact form.

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