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MGL c.208, s.28 Care, custody and maintenanceMGL c.208, s.28A Temporary careMGL c.208, s.29 Minor children, foreign divorcesMGL c.208, s.30 Removal of child from stateMGL c.208, s. 31 Shared custodyMGL c.208, s.31A Consideration of abuseMGL c.208, s.32 Bringing child before courtMGL c.209, s.38 Visitation and custody orders; consideration of abuse toward parent or child; best interest of childMGL c.209B Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act
A.H. v. M.P. , 447 Mass. 828 (2006)
A woman who never adopted the child of her same-sex partner, "although she was well aware of the importance of doing so," and was not the primary caretaker for the child, did not have a legal right to parenting time or a support agreement as a "de facto parent." Further, the court declined to adopt a "parent by estoppel," theory as defined in the ALI Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution § 2.03 (2002). saying, in part, "the parent by estoppel principle is a most dramatic intrusion into the rights of fit parents to care for their child as they see fit." and "parent by estoppel status is most appropriate where "adoption is not legally available or possible.""
Della Corte v. Ramirez , 81 Mass. App. Ct. 906 (2012)A child born of a same-sex marriage is the legitimate child of both people. "As a result, it follows that when there is a marriage between same-sex couples, the need for that second-parent adoption to, at the very least, confer legal parentage on the nonbiological parent is eliminated when the child is born of the marriage."
E.N.O. v. L.M.M. , 429 Mass. 824 (1999). De Facto Parents
"A child may be a member of a nontraditional family in which he is parented by a legal parent and a de facto parent. A de facto parent is one who has no biological relation to the child, but has participated in the child's life as a member of the child's family. The de facto parent resides with the child and, with the consent and encouragement of the legal parent, performs a share of caretaking functions at least as great as the legal parent." In this instance, the court may order parenting time for the de facto parent.
See File for Child Custody or Parenting Time for forms and additional information on court procedure.
Child Custody and Support , MCLE, 2010
Child Custody and Support Update , MCLE, 2012.
DCF Case Practice Policy and Procedure Manual , Dept. of Children and Families, 2008
Handling Interstate Removal Cases , MCLE, 2010
How to Try a Removal Case , MCLE, 2013
Massachusetts Practice v.2A (Family Law and Practice) , 4th ed., Thomson Reuters, 2013 with supplement. Chapters 61-65