Paternity and the Law of Parentage in Massachusetts

An emerging issue in family law practice

704 pages (ebook)
2nd Edition 2009
© 2009 MCLE, Inc.
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Product Description

A practical foundation in paternity and parentage issues backed up by legal authority. Offers guidance on how courts address parentage disputes through the lens of trusts, contract law, genetic marker testing, the law of inheritance, as well as through traditional divorce and custody proceedings. Filled with practical guidance, this manual gets at sensitive issues of parentage from a variety of angles, including mediation, actions in equity brought by de facto parents, and trials to establish paternity.

Empower your clients! As counsel to families or children involved in the intricate, emotional labyrinth of paternity, you need a practical, step-by-step approach. You need the evidentiary tools necessary to succeed in court. You also need to be armed with advice that will empower parents to return to optimal parenting (where a constructive parenting relationship existed in the past) or build the personal family infrastructure to effectively share responsibility for raising a child.

With the assistance of editors Pauline Quirion and Michael L. Leshin, MCLE has brought together 17 experts on various aspects of parentage proceedings to author this comprehensive source. The authors hail from a spectrum of disciplines, including legal services, a DNA laboratory, the Department of Revenue, a gay and lesbian advocacy group, the Commonwealth's Child Support Enforcement Unit, a health law advocacy group, the Children and Law Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Appeals Court and private practice. Chapters concerning court proceedings are paired with judicial commentators from Probate and Family Courts all over Massachusetts. Together, these professionals have compiled the most authoritative source on paternity and parentage in Massachusetts.

Beginning with an overview of parentage issues that arise in divorce, G.L. c. 209C, equity and other actions, the manual then proceeds to cover a spectrum of topics central to parentage and paternity.

Recent updates:

  • Update: January 2009

    Dear Subscriber:

    Thank you for choosing to keep current in the law of parentage and paternity with this 2009 edition of Paternity and the Law of Parentage in Massachusetts.

    Inside this updated edition, you will find insightful commentary and practical insight, such as:

    • New discussion of genetic testing requests by a "stranger to the marriage." (See Chapter 7.)
    • Discussion of cases wherein nonmarital children have petitioned the courts for name changes. (See Chapter 9.)
    • Commentary on the use of Chapter 209C actions to establish the parentage of the non-birth parent. (See Chapter 11.)
    • Discussion of the impact of the new Child Support Guidelines upon paternity and parentage issues. (See Chapter 15.)

    We at MCLE trust that you will find this new material to be useful in your family law practice and valuable in keeping your law library current.


    Maryanne G. Jensen, Esq., MCLE Director of Publications

Table of Contents

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Chapter 1 - Dispute Resolution Alternatives to Promote Positive Parenting and Childhood Experiences (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 2 - Acknowledgments of Parentage (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 3 - Establishing Parentage in Gestational Carrier Arrangements (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 4 - Chapter 209C Basics—From Commencement of an Action to Judgment (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 5 - Genetic Marker Testing (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 6 - Requesting, Using, and Challenging Parentage Testing Results (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 7 - Custody, Visitation, and Removal Issues Related to Children of Unmarried Parents (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 8 - Paternity Challenges to Children Born During a Marriage (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 9 - Trial and Evidentiary Issues in Proving Paternity (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 10 - Naming Nonmarital Children: Birth Certificates and Name Change Petitions (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 11 - Equity Actions to Establish Paternity By Putative Fathers Who Are “A Stranger to the Marriage” (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 12 - Equity Actions Filed By De Facto Parents (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 13 - Domestic Violence Issues (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 14 - Postjudgment Relief from Paternity Adjudications and Modifications (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 15 - Child Support (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 16 - Retroactive Support Awards, Attorney Fees, and Alternative Methods for Payment of Support (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 17 - Health Insurance for Children of Unmarried Parents (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 18 - Inheritance and Support Issues for a Disinherited Child Born Outside of Marriage (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 19 - Attachment Considerations Related to the Law of Parentage (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 20 - Paternity Issues in Juvenile Court Context (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 21 - Selected Appellate Issues in Paternity Related Cases (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 22 - Children's Rights, Sibling Visitation, and Future Directions of the Law (Buy Chapter)
Appendix 1 - Cases Before Enactment of Chapter 209C (Buy Chapter)
Appendix 2 - Cases After Chapter 209C was Enacted (Buy Chapter)


Pauline Quirion, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston

Judicial Commentator(s)

Hon. Dorothy M. Gibson, Boston Area Mediation Services, Middlesex County Probate & Family Court, Brockton
Hon. Gail L. Perlman, Probate and Family Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Northampton
Hon. Eileen M. Shaevel, Dispute Resolution Alternatives, Boston

Ethical Commentator(s)


Mary T. Bowe, Esq., Appeals Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston
Susan L. Crockin, Esq., Crockin Law & Policy Group, LLC, Washington
Nicki Famiglietti, Esq., Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston
Patrick M. Finn, Esq., Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston
Laura Gahn, Ph.D, IDENTIGENE, Houston
Nancy J. Lorenz, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston
Karen Melkonian, Esq., Department of Revenue, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston
Pauline Quirion, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston
Stephen A. Russo, Esq., Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association (VLP), Boston
Jacqueline P. Schelfhaudt, Esq., Administrative Office of the Juvenile Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston
Carwina Weng, Esq., Indiana University School of Law/ Disability Law Clinic, Bloomington



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