MASSACHUSETTS PROBATE AND FAMILY COURT CHANGES WORDING OF FORMS: “PARENTING TIME” REPLACES “VISITATION”

by Marion Lee Wasserman

The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court has replaced the term “visitation” with the words “parenting time” in various custody-related court forms and on the self-help portion of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court website. In doing this, the Court recognizes that words matter to families. The change of wording went into effect on July 15, 2015. Informing the legal community of this change, Chief Justice Angela Ordoñez observed that the term “parenting time” is already widely used in Massachusetts and that the national trend is towards keeping parents involved in their children’s lives.

Family lawyers and mediators know that words matter very much to parents. In working with divorcing or divorced parents or non-married parents trying to work out a family plan, I have long avoided the word “visitation.” The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court’s announcement is a welcome step forward.

Copyright © 2015  Marion Lee Wasserman.  All rights reserved.

The above article is provided for general informational purposes.  This article is based on Massachusetts law and applies to Massachusetts only.  Furthermore, it is not intended to apply to any specific facts or circumstances and should not be construed or applied as legal advice or legal opinion or as tax advice or as establishing an attorney-client relationship.