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How do I ask for a custody order?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed July 2023


If you do not need a custody order right away to keep your children safe, you can file a case in a Probate and Family Court.

If you do need a custody order right away because of domestic violence, you can file a 209A Complaint for Protection from Abuse. In a 209A Complaint a judge can only give custody to the person asking for protection from abuse.

Married and unmarried parents file different forms when they need a custody order right away.

Learn more about custody, parenting time and visitation.

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