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Dinsmore Stark, Attorneys at Law
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7 Factors Massachusetts Courts Consider When Evaluating Child Custody Cases

The primary concern of Massachusetts courts when awarding custody is the child’s best interests. As outlined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website, there are specific factors that the court will consider when assessing your custody case.

If your child custody dispute goes to court, these seven factors will determine the outcome of your case:

1. Whether you have established a personal and parental relationship with your child;
2. Whether you have exercised parental responsibility in the best interests of your child;
3. With whom and where your child has resided during the six months prior to the proceedings;
4. Whether you are willing to communicate and collaborate with the child’s other parent concerning matters related to the child’s welfare;
5. Whether you and the child’s other parent has successfully exercised joint responsibility for the child prior to the custody proceedings;
6. Any history of abuse from either parent; and
7. Whether you or the child’s other parent has abandoned the child.

If you foresee a child custody dispute, it is important that you know these factors and how to demonstrate your fitness as a parent to the court. A divorce attorney can help you gather evidence to demonstrate that you are a responsible parent, and avoid mistakes that could harm your case.

Let’s take a look at five common mistakes that could harm your child custody case:

1. Arguing with your ex or posting sensitive information about your case on social media;
2. Not being involved in your child’s school and extracurricular activities;
3. Lying to the judge;
4. Breaking the law; or
5. Prioritizing your interests over the needs of your child.

This article was written by Dinsmore Stark, Attorneys at Law in Northampton. You can contact us by visiting dinsmorestark.com or calling 413-341-3639.


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9 Essential Details to Include in Your Prenuptial Agreement

It’s safe to assume that the vast majority of people who get married have no intention of divorcing. Still, the National Survey of Family Growth revealed that 20 percent of married couples separate before the five-year mark, and 48 percent of marriages end before the 20th anniversary.

You may already know that a prenuptial agreement can protect your finances and assets in the event of divorce. This, however, is just one benefit of creating a prenup. Being open and honest about your finances could strengthen your relationship. A prenup will also ensure that you and your partner are getting married for the right reasons. You and your spouse will also have peace of mind knowing that your finances are protected in the event of divorce. If your relationship is deteriorating, a prenup could prevent you from staying in the marriage for financial reasons.

What Should I Include in My Prenup?

A small mistake or oversight in your prenup could make the contract unenforceable. As such, it is important that you enlist the help of an experienced family lawyer.

Although each prenup is unique, it is likely that your lawyer will include details related to these nine factors:

1. Retirement benefits;
2. Joint and separate businesses;
3. The amount you spend on household bills;
4. Your income;
5. Your investments;
6. Your joint bank accounts;
7. Your savings contributions;
8. Life insurance; and
9. Your debts.

What Issues Could Make a Prenuptial Agreement Unenforceable?

Your prenup will not be enforceable unless the contract is reasonable and fair, and both you and your fiancé have fully disclosed all relevant facts. Also, you and your fiancé must fully understand what you are signing, and you both must be acting in good faith.

This article was written by Dinsmore Stark, Attorneys at Law in Northampton. You can contact us by visiting dinsmorestark.com or calling 413-341-3639.


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