Custody / child support / relocating when there is a restraining order on my soon to be ex husband.

I was granted 1yr restraining order against soon to be ex husband (divorce pending) & judge incl. kids (boy 6/girl 8). Ex is a cop, weapon was taken & his income/hrs cut in half. Reasons for divorce incl drugs/cheating (on his part). Reasons for RO incl over 1yr worsening violent/graphic verbal/written threats & erratic behavior in reaction to divorce. I'm conflicted re: his relationship w/kids; when he was allowed to see him on Christmas (my request through court), after not seeing them for 6 weeks, he intimidated/threatened them w/anger & interrogated about me. In the past, they've heard/seen a lot negative, although they do miss him. Will any judge grant 6 mos supervised visits w/a psych eval if not using lawyers? Should we share legal custody? Can we move 1hr away to NH? So confused.

Boston, MA -

Attorney Answers (2)

Melissa Anne Lanouette

Melissa Anne Lanouette

Family Law Attorney - Wakefield, MA
Answered

The judge would likely grant 6 months of supervised visits with a psych eval. However, the Judge in family court rules for what is in the best interests of the kids...even if that's not what the parents want. He may find that your ex is too volatile right now for visitation.

As to your move to NH, you will have to ask the Judge's permission for the move. As long as you have a job and place to stay up there, and some sort of support network (such as friends, family, or even just a good job), there should not be a problem.

Legal custody is the right to make major decisions in your kids lives. Can your husband be reasonable about the kids or is he always a crazy person? If he can be reasonable, then you can share legal custody so he has a say about where they go to school, to the doctors, and other big decisions. If he is unwilling to cooperate with you even that far, then it may be for the best that you have sole legal custody for the time being.

It may help you to find an attorney who can at least advise you. There are many options for low-cost or free legal services for people who qualify. Try contacting the Volunteer Lawyer's Project or your county bar association. If you don't quite qualify for free/low-cost services, there is also the possibility to take advantage of MA's new system of Limited Assistance Representation, in which you can hire a lawyer to do just one thing for you. You could pay for a few hours of consultation, or for an attorney to accompany you to just one court session.

Best of luck in this situation. It seems, from what you've said, that this change is for the best for you and the kids.

Henry Lebensbaum

Henry Lebensbaum

Family Law Attorney - Andover, MA
Answered

If I understand you, the father is still with an interest. Having said this, you cannot relocate without his permission or tht of the court.


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