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Massachusetts father gets jail time over child custody hearing

A father who failed to attend a custody court hearing will be spending six months in jail. The man, who was living in Massachusetts at the time of the child custody hearing, was found in contempt of court for failing to attend the hearing, which was held in another state. He received the maximum sentence allowed by law.

The accused father failed to travel to the other state on six occasions for hearings regarding the custody of his son, who is 4 years old. He has been in a dispute with his girlfriend over custody. The judge in the case has ordered an extradition notice to have the man serve his sentence in the state where the custody proceedings are pending, rather than in Massachusetts.

The man wants custody of the child and accuses his former girlfriend of both emotionally and physically abusing the boy. She is on probation for drug charges. The father tried unsuccessfully to have the hearing moved from Illinois to a Massachusetts court. The father filed an emergency request on the basis of alleged abuse. The boy had been living with his father, but the court granted the mother custody and directed that the child be relocated to Illinois while the case is pending.

The law looks unfavorably on those who it views as not acting in the best interests of children. Failing to attend a child custody hearing in this instance appears to be one of those cases. When the law appears to be confusing or complex, a Massachusetts attorney will be able to clarify exactly what may not be clear for his or her clients.

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