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Legal Information: Massachusetts


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December 11, 2019

Can a parent who committed violence get visitation?

A parent who committed violence can get visitation. However, if visitation is granted to the abusive parent, the judge can take the following steps to try to keep you and your child safe:

  • order that the visitation be supervised by an appropriate third party, visitation center, or agency;
  • order that the exchange of the child take place in a safe setting, or in front of an appropriate adult;
  • not allow overnight visits;
  • order the abusive parent to not use alcohol or drugs during the visit and for 24 hours before the visit takes place;
  • require the abusive parent to attend a batterer’s treatment program;
  • require the abusive parent to post a bond (money) to ensure that the child will be returned to you;
  • order an investigation by or the appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney for the child; and
  • order anything else that the judge thinks is necessary to provide for your safety and for the safety and well-being of your child.1

1 M.G.L. 208 §§ 31A; 209C § 10(e)