Either or both parents may seek sole or shared custody in Massachusetts. If the parents are unmarried, the father must first establish paternity (legal fatherhood) before seeking custody of his child. A judge may establish paternity if one parent files for paternity in court, or if both parents sign and file what is called a “voluntary acknowledgement form.” A voluntary acknowledgment form may have been signed by the father when the child was born.
Establishing Child Custody
- Seeking an Initial Child Custody or Visitation Order
- Who Has Custody Before Going to Court?
- Who Can File for Custody?
- What if I Have Been Abused?
- Where Do I File for Custody?
- What Forms Do I File for Custody or Visitation?
- How to File for Custody or Visitation
- How Does a Judge Decide Child Custody or Visitation?
- More Information About Custody and Visitation Orders