Child Custody Opinions

2018

This page lists decisions made by the Supreme and Appeals court, which touch on the issue of custody. Although there is nothing in the laws that mandates nor encourages the courts to order sole physical custody, it is obvious that our courts are biased in favor of sole physical custody also known as primary custody

The current law states:

“In making an order or judgment relative to the custody of children, the rights of the parents shall, in the absence of misconduct, be held to be equal”

Unfortunately all too often the courts make clear their bias for sole physical custody

In a year that saw widespread public outrage against our government for separating children from their parents, its difficult to comprehend how the Massachusetts Courts insist on continuing this treatment of our families

Opinions:

Another mess of a case. The case starts out with one party losing physical custody under a temporary order. The other party then behaves poorly and they lose legal custody. The panel is faced with parties that have shared physical custody and sole legal to one party. The party that lost legal custody appeals and they want sole legal custody.

Our courts need to realize that taking custody away from one parent is not in the best interest of the children nor the parents in most cases. Taking custody away from one parent is likely to encourage poor behavior in the other parent.

An unmarried couple, one parent gets sole legal custody of their child, the other party appeals.

It is not made clear why one party did not get shared legal custody, but the appeal is denied.

Once again showing its bias, the court takes custody away from one parent. In this opinion the court does not even discuss why the parent lost custody. Nothing is presented to suggest that anything is wrong with either parent.

November 8 2018

GUARDIANSHIP OF KELVIN Sahagian

Rubin, Maldonado, Ditkoff

A particularly poorly written decision. The opinion starts off with the statement:

"in matters of custody the 'touchstone inquiry' is the best interest of child"

which is the law and completely appropriate unfortunately it is followed by

"The determination of which parent will promote a child's best interest"

which Is a standard that ignores the possibility of shared custody, and therefore prejudicial.

Although the opinion should not have included this language, the rest of the decision does make clear that this were troubled parents. DCF was involved in there life and it appears DCF felt that only one parent attempted to improve themselves

Although poorly written it does appear based on the facts presented, that the correct decision was made.

A particularly poorly written decision. Although the parents were not married, that does not excuse the demeaning language used in this opinion. The judiciary regularly claims that parenting time, should not be referred to as "visitation", unfortunately this panel didn't get the message.

It comes as no surprise that this opinion supported sole physical custody. The reason for this decision was vague, the parents didn't get along. There was no discussion of how they didn't along and how it did or might affect the quality of life for the children in question. The difference could be nothing more than the differences explained in an old Gerschwin tune, what is clear in this decision is that this panel does not like shared custody.

Actually a pretty good decision. The parties appeared to have worked out most of their issues on their own. The parties agreed to shared custody, which left the court with relatively little to do.

Custody is the issue in this case, the parent who lost custody argues that they should have gotten sole physical custody of the child for good reason. Although the court does not grant them sole custody, they do grant the other parent sole custody.

Another type of case playing to the court's bias against shared custody.

At issue is the special immigrant juvenile law. In this case someone who is barely a juvenile, four months before their eighteenth birthday, for the purposes of this law they are considered a juvenile until they are twenty-one

The parent who is present in this country seeks sole physical custody of the child, which the court only too happily orders.

In this case the court decided to award:

"sole physical custody to the mother and reducing the father's parenting time with their minor child,"

after a period when the parties had shared custody, once again playing into the bias of the court. The change in parenting time, could be argued to have been appropriate since one parent decided to move a substantial distance, or it could just be the bias of the court. The decision provides little to clarify what was going on here, other than the bias of the court.

Although this opinion is not about custody per se, it does contain the following comment:

“their separation agreement, which granted the mother sole physical custody of the parties' only child”

Which most likely is untrue, and simply reflects the courts bias against shared custody. Although it most likely is true that there is a signed agreement that includes this statement, it was most likely made under duress or misinformation. In situations where both parents are seen as good parents and are actively involved in their child’s life there is no reason to agree to one parent having custody, it is simply the court’s bias.

Although not explicitly stated it appears one parent had sole physical custody of the children. When that parent was not allowed to move out of state with the child this appeal resulted. It is not made clear why one parent had sole custody.

April 9, 2018

Care and Protection of MC, Collins

Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, Cypher, Kafker

This opinion contains the following comment:

“the plaintiff and the defendant entered into an agreement granting sole legal and physical custody of David to the defendant”

Which most likely is untrue, and simply reflects the courts bias against shared custody. Although it most likely is true that there is a signed agreement that includes this statement, it was most likely made under duress or misinformation. In situations where both parents are seen as good parents and are actively involved in their child’s life, as is the case here, there is no reason to agree to one parent having custody, it is simply the court’s bias.

Then sole custody went from one parent to the other, showing the courts inability to allow shared custody and its open bias against it.

This case starts in New Hampshire, where one parent lost custody of their children. No explanation is given for that decision. So the parent splits, a disappointing act, but on some level who can blame them. If we expect people to behave their best then they should be properly treated.

Although this opinion is not about custody per se, it does contain the following comment:

“The separation agreement provided that the mother would have primary physical custody of the parties' minor child”

Which most likely is untrue, and simply reflects the courts bias against shared custody. Although it most likely is true that there is a signed agreement that includes this statement, it was most likely made under duress or misinformation. In situations where both parents are seen as good parents and are actively involved in their child’s life there is no reason to agree to one parent having custody, it is simply the court’s bias.

The case starts out with the parties “agreeing” to one parent having sole physical custody, it goes further downhill when one parent asks for and gets sole legal custody, which on retrial results in shared legal custody and this appeal. People do not “agree” to give up custody of their children they are lead to believe that the court is openly biased against it, which it is, and then told to “agree” if they want the case to go better.

Although this opinion is not about custody per se, it does contain the following comment:

“The parents agreed……to the mother's primary physical custody of the child”

Which most likely is untrue, and simply reflects the courts bias against shared custody. Although it most likely is true that there is a signed agreement that includes this statement, it was most likely made under duress or misinformation. In situations where both parents are seen as good parents and are actively involved in their child’s life, as is the case here, there is no reason to agree to one parent having custody, it is simply the court’s bias.

The Supreme Judicial Court weighs in on a custody decision in a disappointing way. Although both parties had retained joint physical and legal custody throughout the process and were both seen as good parents, the court could not refrain from its open bias against shared custody. The parents could not agree in what country their child should live, and presented the case to the court. Rather than simply deciding that issue, the court took custody from one parent and then allowed the “winning” parent to make the decision about where to live.

The issue of custody was put before the court due to the YANNAS vs. FRONDISTOU-YANNAS case which touches on the issue of removal and custody. Although the court appears to question the validity of that decision in a dissent, it is still clear that the court is openly biased against shared custody.

Sole custody went from one parent to the other, showing the courts inability to allow shared custody and its open bias against it.

One parent obtained sole custody of their child and then chose to move from the state. The other parent allegedly desired no relationship with the child, but challenged the move. As such the challenge makes little sense, and was not allowed.