Damaging Case Law That is Often Used to
Although mostly unconstitutional this does not stop Massachusetts judges from doing what they please, with egos that think they know what is best for us all, even when they can only know a small fraction of what any parent knows about their children.
“Discretion allows the judge, when determining the best interests of children, to consider the widest range of permissible evidence, including the reports and testimony of a court appointed investigator or [guardian ad litem], evidence of the history of the relationship between the child and each parent, evidence of each parent’s present home environment, and overall fitness to further the child’s best interests, and the judges s own impressions upon interviewing the child privately in chambers.” Ardizoni, supra, n.23 at 889.
Parents have no absolute or immutable right to associate with their children and their parental rights must yield to the best interests of the child. See Donnelly v. Donnelly, 4 Mass. App. Ct. 162, 164, 344 N.E.2d 195, 197 (1976).
All of these footnotes appear to come from the same case, you MUST read the case in its entirety, if you just use glimpses of case you could get into trouble.
I always check the case that my opposition are using most of the times they are taking out of content and have to be corrected. So read the case on which these case are coming from and will let you in on the whole story. Most of times they are taking out of context.
One area being explored by many is that divorce/custody are common law and not equity jurisdictions? This would invalidate many current practices and allow people to seek relief under the constitutional provisions for common law. The National Association of Court Watchers is one place for information on this area.