Dedicated Protection For Your Children And Your Rights

Child custody and child support are two issues that often provoke intense feelings. Both parents may want what is best for their children, but often they disagree on what that means. A dispute can be traumatic and painful for everyone involved, which is the last thing either parent wants for their child. We also understand the importance of keeping custody/parenting plan issues completely separate from support issues. Children should never be used as a bargaining chip.

Custody

At the Law Offices of Sheara F. Friend, we are experienced in the legal and psychological aspects of pursuing child custody, and we are well-versed in constructing parenting plans that work for the individual needs of a family. We help you pursue your objectives for custody and parenting plans. We work on all types of custody cases, including:

  • Unmarried parents seeking to establish paternity and/or parenting schedules
  • Divorce matters with contentious issues surrounding custody and/or parenting schedules
  • Removal cases — when parents are in dispute over the relocation of a child
  • Renegotiating custody and parenting plans when the non-primary parent plans to move out of state or a great distance away within Massachusetts
  • Complaints for Modification of child custody and/or parenting schedules
  • Complaints for Contempt to enforce an existing custody and/or parenting schedule Judgment

Whatever challenges you face, we have one goal: to help you secure a positive future for you and your children.

Support

Child support in Massachusetts is generally determined by a standard formula, though there are circumstances that warrant a deviation from the standard. We have extensive experience with calculating the proper amount of support, and we know the factors that could result in a deviation from the formula. We work on all types of support cases, including:

  • Unmarried parents seeking to establish a support order
  • Divorce matters with factors that require a deviation from the formula
  • Complaints for Modification of child support (reductions or increases)
  • Complaints for Contempt to enforce an existing support Judgment, whether paid directly or through the Department of Revenue

Why We Are Unique

As a boutique firm, we focus on our clients. We get to know you and your hopes and goals for your family. We have over 60 years of combined experience just in family law, because that is all we do. This gives us knowledge and insight into the court process that lawyers who practice multiple areas of law simply do not have.

We know that the consequences of a bad custody or support order can last a lifetime. Whenever possible, we will negotiate a fair and reasonable solution for your family. However, we are always ready to go into court and fight for the best interests of your children if negotiations fail.

Attorney Friend is an expert in custody cases involving domestic violence and/or restraining orders. She has fiercely represented both victims of abuse and those falsely accused of abuse. She also has extensive experience with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) as they are often involved when there is any abuse in a family.

Attorney Friend is also deeply involved with the Massachusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem (MAGAL). A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is often appointed in contentious custody disputes to speak with the parties and the children and report to the courts, including a recommendation for custody and parenting time. Sheara was on the committee that recently rewrote the guidelines for how GALs should conduct their investigations.

For a confidential appointment, please call 978-464-1071. We serve Middlesex, Norfolk, Essex, Suffolk, Plymouth, Worcester, Bristol and Barnstable counties.