There are numerous reasons why moving to a new state may make sense for you and your family, including the pursuit of professional and educational opportunities, to be close to family, or even simply for a change of pace. However, if you and your ex are separated and share custody of your child, you’ll need to understand child custody and relocation laws in Massachusetts first. Here’s an overview of what you should know about relocation laws—for more information or legal representation in your case, reach out to Attorney Heather M. Ward directly today.
Can I Move Out of State with My Child?
If you and your ex have an existing child custody order, then you cannot move your child out of state without the permission of the child’s other parent or an express order granted by the court. If you don’t have the approval of your child’s other parent or the legal system, then there could be serious consequences of moving your child out of state.
What Do I Have to Establish to Move with My Child Out of State?
If you and your ex are in disagreement about the move, then you’ll need to go to court to establish cause for the relocation and show that relocating your child is not only in your child’s best interests, but you must show that there is a “real advantage” to the move. The “real advantage” test is an extra step the court must decide when considering whether to allow a child to relocate with one parent outside of Massachusetts over the other parent’s objections.
If you’re seeking relocation, being able to speak to the above factors is extremely important. Working with an attorney can help you prepare your case and make a strong argument before the court.
What Happens if My Ex Takes My Child Out of State Without My Approval?
Depending on the circumstances of the case, if your ex takes your child out of state without your approval and the approval of the court, they could be found guilty of parental kidnapping or custodial interference. It’s important that you report the relocation to the court immediately; you can also call the police if your ex takes or keeps your child when they have no right to and are in violation of your custody order.
Get Help from a Skilled Family Law Attorney Today
Navigating your rights as a parent who has a custody order with the court can be complex. If you want to relocate to a new state, you’ll need to go through the proper legal channels first. At the Law Office of Heather M. Ward, our experienced family law attorney can help you to understand your rights, whether you’re the parent seeking or protesting relocation. To learn more, please schedule a consultation with Attorney Heather M. Ward by calling (617) 903-8955 directly or sending our law firm a message online today.