One of the most challenging things about getting a divorce as a parent is figuring out all of the logistics of child-rearing with your ex. Whether you want to make a decision about your child’s education or healthcare, or if you’re ready to move to a new city or state for a new opportunity, the law may require that you take your ex-spouse’s opinion and parental rights into consideration. If you or your ex are thinking about child relocation, talk to an experienced attorney about your rights first. Call the Law Office of Heather M. Ward today.
Can I Relocate with My Child Out of State?
If you are a divorced parent who is thinking about relocating out of state—or, conversely, if your ex is thinking about moving out of state with your child—it’s important that you understand Massachusetts laws on child removal and relocation. If a family court in Massachusetts has jurisdiction over custody decisions related to your child, then your child cannot be moved out of state without the court’s decision. If you or your ex-partner relocate your child without the court’s permission, there could be legal consequences—and sometimes even criminal consequences.
How Will a Judge Make a Decision About Child Relocation?
Without a doubt, child custody cases are some of the most hotly disputed topics amongst divorcees. And when it comes to the possibility of relocating a child, parents may be in extreme disagreement. If parents do not agree about the relocation, then the case will go before a judge. The judge will make a decision about the relocation based on the best interests of the child. A few of the things that the judge may consider, based on Massachusetts law, include:
- Whether the child’s quality of life will be improved by the move
- Whether the quality of life of the child’s parents will be improved
- What will happen to the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent if the relocation is allowed
- How the relocation could impact the social, mental, and emotional development of the child
- Any other pertinent factors
Keep in mind that courts generally want to see a child maintain a relationship with both parents. If one parent wants to relocate and the child’s relationship with the other parent will be severely impacted, the relocating parent will need to make a very compelling case for the relocation.
How Can a Family Law Attorney Help Me?
Whether you want to relocate with your child or want to block your ex’s petition for child removal and relocation, working with a skilled family law attorney may be beneficial to your case. Your attorney will know what the court wants to see and how to prepare your case to protect your and your child’s interests.
At the Law Office of Heather M. Ward, our Massachusetts family and divorce lawyer has years of experience. To learn more about our services and how we can protect your relationship with your child related to a relocation case, call us today at (617) 903-8955 or send us a message online today.