Spanking in Massachusetts is not illegal, but is highly controversial. It is a topic that cohabiting parents do not like to talk publicly about and can lead separated parents filing reports with the Department of Children and Family Services. Each Massachusetts Probate and Family Court judge has a different opinion on spanking. It is my experience that if one parent objects to the other parent spanking the child, the court will order an end to all spanking. The University of New Hampshire completed a research study on spanking.
University of New Hampshire sociologist Murray Straus’s research shows that 70% of parents think that spanking is necessary, but 90% of parents still spank their toddlers. According to Boston.com the research shows that “the strking truth about spanking today [is] it hasn’t stopped, it’s just gone into hiding.” http://bo.st/18BWn7y
Parents that are involved in the court system are under a microscope. This means that behavior that would normally be acceptable can easily be construed as being reputable. If you are involved in a divorce, child custody matter or guardianship, then it is necessary for you to have model behavior. This means avoiding spanking. The case of Don Cobble, a former pastor of a Woburn, Massachusetts church tells the story of why you should avoid spanking. http://masscases.com/cases/sjc/430/430mass385.html
If you are involved in a spanking case, then having a Massachusetts child custody attorney in your corner will help you.