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Domestic Abuse and visitation in MA

Long story short [I hope} I had a child on 09/29/09 with someone I am not married to. I was stuck in a severely emotionally abusive relationship with him which included physical abuse throughout the 3 yrs we were together. I was stuck because he has threatened me if I were to leave. I got the courage up to leave him when my daughter was 6 weeks old.
He has been in the hospital several times for mental issues several times over the course of the relationship. He also is addicted to several hard street drugs. He was just in the mental hospital for the last few days but some how was released. I have no police reports documenting the physical abuse against me - he has had me to the point of death after beating me but unable to call 911 out of fear of him. All I have is a photo of a black eye he gave me. He has tried to file reports that I am sexually abusing our 6 wk old baby - though all DSS reports have cleared me (of course!!!) and he also denied her has his a day after birth which a social worker at the hospital has record of.
Yet he is looking for parental rights even though he has told me for the last nine months he does not/did not want this child. Right now I have an emergency restraining order against him [which he has violated everyday by contacting me - it is a no abuse no contact order] We will both appear in court Nov 24th in hopes to extend the RO. Now my questions are: What are the chances he will be grated visitation with his history of mental illness, drug abuse, and emotional/physical domestic abuse against me? How does the MA Family court look at domestic abuse cases on unwed parents? Is there anyway I can change my daughters last name to my last name without the fathers permission? I really do not want to be reminded of him every time I say her name. ANY ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE ME WOULD BE HELPFUL!

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Submitted Thu, 11/19/2009 - 22:21

If he has been violating the no contact order contact the police immediately. There is no difference between a temporary and an extended restraining order. To the extent you can, document the violations, if he calls you get a record of your calls from your cell phone company, if he leaves a message, save the message and have a police officer listen to and record the message. A violation of a restraining order means the person does not follow an order of the court. Any judge, whether she sits in the district court, superior court or probate court does not like it when a person violates a court order. The family courts take domestic abuse seriously, the courts attempt to determine what is in the best interests of the child, and if the court finds a parent has engaged in a pattern, or a seirous incident of abuse, there is a presumption created that custody is not in the childs' best interest.
 Attorney Kevin Gaughen, Jr.

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