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Other frequently encountered family law issues

Grandparent Rights

In Massachusetts, grandparents may receive visitation rights if the child’s parents have divorced or separated, if a parent is deceased, or if the child was born out of wedlock but paternity has been established. Establishment of paternity is not required for visitation by the maternal grandparents. Under all situations, the best interests of the child must be considered.


Regarding a child who is born out of wedlock, the process for having a man legally declared that child’s father is called paternity. This step in the process is necessary before custody, parenting plan, health insurance, uninsured medical expenses, and child support orders can be made by the court. In establishing these rights and duties by statute, Massachusetts has made clear its policy that children born to parents who are not married to each other shall be entitled to the same rights and protection of the law as all other children.


Massachusetts has laws about moving out of state with your children. Massachusetts laws refer to this as “removal” of the child from the state. These removal laws deal with when a parent must ask the other parent for consent to remove the child, and when, if the other parent does not give consent, the parent who seeks to remove the child must get permission from a judge.