My husband and I have decided to file for divorce after eight years of marriage and we have three children together. I live in Fall River Massachusetts with the children and he takes them to his home in Somerset Massachusetts until they begin school. They are enrolled in the school district that I live near. I receive government assistance because of the children, and expecting to get child support from him. I’m wondering what my rights are to the children before I filed divorce? What are my rights to the children before the first court date? What are my rights until the divorce is finalized? Can I do anything to stop him from taking the kids for me in keeping them from the before we go to divorce court? I’m just scared he is going to take the children and not give them back to me and I will not see them until the divorce is over and I’ve heard that divorces take a while. I can’t live without my kids, what are my rights?


First of all, until he actually does what you’re fearing that is really nothing you can do again something that hasn’t happened yet. But you can address the issue of child custody and child support, through the use of what are known as temporary orders. What we do before we actually file for divorce or at the same time as we file for divorce, we file motions for temporary orders. These temporary orders usually address where the children would live, the visitation schedule with both parents and preliminary child support. Most people in your situation are in fear of the exact same things, and the court understands that the divorce process is lengthy and they deal with this situation through the use of temporary orders. Now if you’re ex actually did what you’re scared of, there’s another way to deal with that also and it’s through the use of emergency orders. Motions for temporary orders need to be filed and then served on the other party, then you show up to the court date that the court gave you. But for emergency orders, the waiting period is much shorter or none at all. It is always a good idea to have an experienced family law divorce attorney experienced in child custody and child support to handle these matters for you. Considering your situation most likely the judge will grant you money. Your husband to pay for legal fees also, as you don’t work and are on government assistance. Even if you can’t afford an attorney, it’s still important that you go speak to one and find out what’s the best solution for your particular situation.


Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723

Office:  888-269-0688