Main Navigation

Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri
781-489-3759 Weekend & Evening Appointments Available

Wellesley Family Law Blog

Rutherford forced to return children to father in Monaco

If you watch entertainment news, then you may already know about the custody battle taking place between Kelly Rutherford and her ex-husband. Her ex-husband had custody of their children and took them to Monaco, but she is trying to obtain custody to bring them back to the United States.

These situations can be hard for parents, especially because their children are too far away to see them often. Recently, a judge had ordered the children back to the USA for the summer, but the legal arrangement required the children to return to Monaco with their father in August 2015. When Rutherford didn't return her children as required, a judge ordered them back to their father.

Tips for court: conducting yourself correctly

Conducting yourself in the right manner during your divorce trial is important. Not doing so can get you in trouble and even make a judge less likely to want to rule in your favor. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can follow to conduct yourself correctly, keeping you on the good side of the law.

First, dress appropriately. You shouldn't wear T-shirts, shorts, or other casual clothing to court if it can be helped. You want to dress in a way that shows respect; a suit, dress, or other business clothing would be suitable. Remember not to chew gum, either, as this is considered disrespectful.

Can rapists request child custody by law in Massachusetts?

Child custody concerns can come from many angles, but one interesting concern some clients have is what happens if an alleged rapist sues for parental rights. Technically speaking, the man suing for his parental rights in this situation is the biological father. These cases can be difficult, because not all kinds of rapes and sexual assault situations are the same. In truth, if the man was never convicted, it can be hard to deny him the right to see his child, but it's possible to do so.

Fathers should have the right to see their children as long as they don't cause duress or injury to the child or mother. In some cases, a man has already pleaded guilty to the rape of a minor or adult. What happens then? It's possible for a mother to request child support from the man, so should he have a right to see his child?

An amicable parenting plan can be negotiated with your spouse

Divorce can be hard on spouses, but it can also be devastating for children. Children who once saw their parents daily may now see them only a few times a week, and that can be difficult. Creating a parenting plan that works well for you and your ex will help alleviate any stress your child is going through. Knowing parents are working together and providing a safe environment to live in is important.

If you and your ex can work together to make an amicable parenting plan, it's more likely that you will have fewer problems with child custody down the line. For instance, if you have to work a 40-hour week from 9 to 5 and your child has to go to school from 8 to 4, it may be reasonable to have your children live with you and have a babysitter or relative watch them for the hour until you get home. Then, weekends and summers could be spent with the other parent. This would be one potential way to designate time with your child.

Shared-custody bills on the rise and could soon be law

If you're involved in a custody battle, you know that it could end in one of two ways. Either you or your spouse will get the children, child support and your home, while the other person is left paying the difference. While Massachusetts didn't used to support shared parenting, it may soon become the first state with a shared parenting law. Why? People are literally going broke trying to fight for their children.

In the news, three parents who had their time with their children massively reduced due to custody battles stepped up to offer testimony in front of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary. The parents spent time discussing how the cost to fight for child custody had been too high, that it had left them with little time for their children and they know had an excess of legal bills and child support costs.

Child relocation must be in a child's best interests

After you go through a separation or a divorce, the idea of having your child taken even further away from you can be difficult. Sometimes, one parent needs to move away, though, and it is possible to negotiate a way to stay in touch so the parent who isn't the custodial parent can continue to have a good relationship with his or her child.

Generally speaking, it's normal for a case involving moving children to end up in court. No one wants to let their children go far away from them, even if it means an ex-spouse getting a better job or a more stable lifestyle. The important thing to know is that as a parent, you have the right to argue against or for taking your child to a new location, but it's up to the court to decide if this is in your child's best interest.

Do fathers have the same rights as mothers?

As a parent, you want what's best for your child. Is living with his or her mother in Massachusetts the best option? Will the court think so just because she's the mother and because she saw him or her a few hours more each day? These are questions you may have and that suggests that you need to protect your rights as a father, too.

If you're fighting for your rights as a father, then you probably wonder if men really tend to get the same rights as women. Some people have argued in the past that it's not the case, even though parents should be equals in the eyes of the law and are equal under Massachusetts state and federal laws.

Discipline versus abuse defined in Massachusetts

If you are getting a divorce and believe that your child is at risk of abuse if he or she is left with your soon-to-be-ex spouse, you may request custody and point out abuse, in particular, as a reason. Under the law, what is abuse? Spanking a child simply won't be enough to get a court in Massachusetts to agree to the request you've made, especially if no long-term physical harm was caused.

Why is that? A recent ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court has stated that it will not hold parents criminally liable for the use of reasonable force against their children. The force used must be for the purpose of keeping a child safe; for instance, spanking a child who disobeys and tries to put his or her finger in an outlet for the third time would be fairly reasonable. It's through this method that the child will learn that you mean what you say and that the action is dangerous.

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner to divorce after 10-year marriage

If you enjoy following celebrity news, you may have heard about Ben Affleck, a Massachusetts native, and his divorce from Jennifer Garner. While no one enjoys reading about a pair splitting up, whether it's in a local area or Hollywood, there is some positivity about this divorce that has popularized it in the media. Unlike many celebrity divorces that hit the news, this one appears to be civil or even friendly. If you're going through a divorce yourself, this may be a better indication of what to expect, especially if you're on friendly terms with your soon-to-be ex.

The two have been married for just over 10 years. They met in 2003 on the set of Daredevil, one of the first reboots of comic book movies, and then they married two years later in 2005. Now that they have decided to divorce, there have been questions about their properties and children, but news surrounding the divorce suggests it will be friendly.

The rights of unmarried fathers explained

Having a child can be one of the great joys in your life. Children can make you grow as a person, enforce responsibility and give you a reason to be happy and successful. Sometimes, parents are in a difficult position, though, because they aren't married. If you find yourself in a similar situation in Massachusetts, then you need to understand how to move forward and claim your paternal rights.

As an unmarried father, you have rights that are defined by the United States, but you need to claim them to legalize them. Initially, during pregnancy or your child's birth, you could be identified as the "punative father," which simply means that you are a man who claims to be the biological father of a child but that the relationship hasn't yet been established by law.

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.