Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to file but it is highly recommended that you get a lawyer if you can, especially if the other parent has one. Custody cases can be complicated, and it is helpful to have someone guide you through the process.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may be able to find free or low-cost legal help in your area on the MA Finding a Lawyer page.
If you plan to file for custody on your own, you may want to read the informational manual called Representing Yourself in a Civil Case on the Massachusetts Courts website as well as our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section. Even if you plan on representing yourself, you may want to consider having a lawyer review your papers before you file them. Avoiding mistakes as much as possible will help save you time and may improve your chances of success.