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Joint Legal and Physical Custody in a Paternity Case

Case Conclusion Date: 06.14.2013

Practice Area: Family

Outcome: favorable to father for joint legal and physical custody

Description: I represented father in a paternity matter, which means mother and father were never married. Unlike cases where the parties were married, under Massachusetts law, paternity actions default to mother having sole legal and physical custody unless either forms of custody are otherwise agreed by the parties or ordered by the court. Although father was actively involved in raising his young daughter and lived within a reasonable distance to mother's residence, she refused to allow him equal parenting time. After a trial, the court awarded him joint legal and physical custody and reduced the amount of child support he would have otherwise paid mother without this joint physical arrangement.

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