Child Relocation in the State of Massachusetts

Though most people simply wish to put their divorce behind them once its terms are finalized, this is often impossible. If you are the custodial parent of a child and now have to relocate for one reason or another, there is a very good chance that your former spouse will contest the move. That is why you must read on and reach out to our experienced firm to learn more about the process going forward and how we can help. Here are some of the questions you may have:

How does Massachusetts decide relocation cases?

If you are a custodial parent and your child is either a Massachusetts native or has been living in the state for at least 5 years, you may not move outside of the state of Massachusetts, or even a great distance away from your former spouse within the state of Massachusetts without either your former spouse’s consent or the court’s approval. However, gaining court approval is not always easy, as you will have to prove that the move is necessary, in the child’s best interest, and it not out of spite, or to prevent your former spouse from having a relationship with the child.

What factors do Massachusetts courts consider determining whether you can move?

As stated above, before granting relocation, you will be required to prove that your move is absolutely necessary. Some reasons that relocations have been granted in the past include you or your child needing medical treatment, protecting your family, pursuing higher education or obtaining a new job that will benefit your family, moving in with a new spouse, or moving closer to your child’s extended family. Additionally, Massachusetts courts will consider several other factors when determining whether the move is in your child’s best interest. Some of these factors are as follows:

  • If your child is of age and mature enough, whether he or she has a preference regarding the move
  • The validity of your reasoning for the move
  • Your former spouse’s objections to the move
  • Whether your former spouse is financially capable of relocating, if he or she wishes
  • Whether the location of which you are moving to is capable of accommodating your child’s special needs, if necessary
  • Whether the move will improve the overall quality of your child’s life, including educational, economic, and social facets

Contact our experienced Massachusetts firm

For over 30 years, The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. has provided quality legal support and representation for clients in Bristol County and all of Massachusetts. Our firm’s experience eases the stress of clients while providing the legal services they deserve. If you need help through a contested divorce, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. for a consultation today.