Posted by Michael Franklin
I represented the mother of a 7 year old child. The mother of the 7 year old left the child with her parents temporarily until a DCF investigation could be completed on the child and his father. The child had been touching his half brother inappropriately allegedly from behaviors he learned from the father’s girlfriend’s son. The mother and father had been separated for three years and each had entered into new relationships. Mother had another child with a man she was living with and the father subsequently had a girlfriend and her son move in with him. The Court awarded sole physical custody of the 7 year old to the mother and visitation rights to the father. Mother alleged that the 7 year old son admitted to her that he was touched inappropriately by the son of father’s current girlfriend during father’s visitation time and that is how he learned the behavior. Mother reported the incident to DCF and they advised that the 7 year old should be separated from his half brother for about a week until DCF could complete its investigation. Mother took the child to her parents’ home and requested they care for the child during this time. The mother’s parents filed for an Emergency Temporary Guardianship of the 7 year old with the Worcester Probate and Family Court claiming that mother abandoned the child with them. An evidentiary hearing was scheduled for the DCF social worker to appear.

Result: After my cross examination of the DCF Social Worker and my direct examination of the mother, the Guardianship was dismissed and the 7 year old was returned to mother’s custody.