You can’t afford to hire the wrong Family Attorney

Massachusetts Custody & Visitation Lawyer

Legal and Physical Custody

You and your spouse or domestic partner are splitting up. If you have children this can be a wrenching and even traumatic time for the children as well as for both parents. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In many cases, conflict in custody disputes is inevitable because the parents genuinely believe that their parenting approach is the correct one and that the children should be with them most of the time. But a skilled and experienced family law attorney can often help the client focus on what is really best for the children.

This is what you can expect from the Law Offices of Sanford I. Furman. With over 30 years of legal experience, Sanford I. Furman is a skilled custody lawyer representing parents throughout greater Boston, including Wellesley, Newton and the Metrowest areas of Worcester and Westborough, Framingham and Natick, Massachusetts.

Types of Custody

If you have children, you’ve heard the word custody. There are two types of custody:

  • Legal custody — who makes the major decisions about your children as well as who has access to important records and contacts, such as medical providers and schools?
  • Physical custody — who do the children live with most of the time and makes the day to day decisions regarding the children?

Legal custody in Massachusetts is often resolved with joint legal custody, meaning that both parents have some say in major decision making, and have full access to all medical, school and other records. In some cases, where the parents absolutely cannot communicate or where there has been serious domestic abuse, the courts will award sole legal custody to one parent. Joint legal custody may not be appropriate in cases of domestic violence or in which the parties’ ability to communicate is extremely poor. Another exception involves unmarried parents. Where parents were never married the mother will have sole legal custody unless the parties agree joint legal custody or the judge orders it after being convinced that the father has been consistently involved in the children’s lives.

Physical custody has traditionally resulted in primary physical custody to one parent, most often the mother. In recent years the courts have given more consideration to more flexible parenting plans, even to shared physical custody, an arrangement in which the children spend roughly (but not necessarily exactly) equal time with each parent. However, primary custody to one parent and visitation to the other is still he most common physical custody arrangement. On the other extreme,  the courts recognize that supervised visitation is needed to protect children from abuse or to reunite children with a parent who has been absent for an extended period of time. The Law Office of Sanford I. Furman will help you determine what type of physical custody is best for your children and for you, and will work hard to achieve that result.

Custody Disputes

If there is a genuine custody dispute, the case will probably be litigated and you are likely to require the services of a court investigator, called a “guardian ad litem” or G.A.L., to investigate and report to the court regarding the best interests of your children. A G.A.L is appointed by the judge, often with input from the two lawyers, and is paid by the parties. The Law Office of Sanford I. Furman will explain that process and assist you in preparing to present yourself to the G.A.L. in the most effective manner. Often cases are resolved once the G.A.L.’s recommendations are complete, but there are cases when the case must be tried and the G.A.L.’s recommendations challenged. Attorney Furman has the skill and experience to advise you whether to accept the G.A.L.’s recommendations or proceed to trial.

Guiding You Through the Legal Process

Sanford I. Furman has over 30 year of experience with custody issues. He has achieved excellent results for parents seeking custody, visitation and parenting plans that best meet their children’s needs and their schedules. Regardless of whether you are married, if you have children who live in Massachusetts you need a strong lawyer who will help you obtain the best custody, visitation and parenting plan for your children. Attorney Furman cares about his clients and their children and will spend the time necessary listening to you and what you want. He will apply his extensive experience as a family law attorney, as well as, former teacher and parent, to guide you through the legal process and achieve the best custody arrangement, visitation schedule or parenting plan for you and your children.

Strong Advocate Who Helps You Achieve Your Goals

Attorney Furman will take a thorough history of the roles you and your spouse played in caring for the children. Knowing the details as to how involved each parent was in the caregiving, from early childhood to the time of separation, will be a useful guide in assessing which parent is likely to get primary physical custody, or whether this is a case for shared physical custody. By listening carefully to you, and asking probing questions, Attorney Furman will apply his years of experience to assisting you in developing realistic goals, and helping you achieve those goals. If necessary, he will go to court with you to protect your rights with appropriate temporary orders.

Free Initial Consultation

Please contact the Law Office of Sanford I. Furman by phone or e-mail if you have a child custody or visitation issue to schedule a free consultation. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged by appointment at Attorney Furman’s Wellesley or Westborough office.