Child Relocation After Divorce

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After a divorce, it is not uncommon for a custodial parent and their child to relocate to another state or even country. However, there are many cases where a noncustodial parent disapproves of the move, which can cause a significant custody and visitation dispute.

If you are interested in moving your child out of Massachusetts, our Framingham family law attorneys at Saponaro Barach Bingham LLP​ can help build a strong case to demonstrate valid reasons for relocation. If you are a noncustodial parent and wish to have your child remain in the state, we understand what it takes to obtain the results you desire.

How Massachusetts Court Handles Relocation Cases

If a child is born in Massachusetts or has resided in the state for at least five years, the child cannot relocate out of state unless the other parent approves or a valid court order is granted. The custodial parent must notify the noncustodial parent about the potential move, giving the other parent a chance to object.

If both parents agree, an agreement must be drafted and given to the court. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, one of them could go to court and request a court hearing, where the judge will determine whether the move is in the child’s best interests.

The following are the common factors when deciding a relocation case:

  • Does the move improve the child’s quality of life? (Better career opportunity for the parent, more family members for support, etc.)
  • How will the move affect the child’s physical and emotional well-being?
  • How will the noncustodial parent maintain a continuing relationship with the child?

The judge may apply the “real advantage standard” for parents with primary custody. This test is used because when a child spends a majority of their time with one parent, the well-being of both the child and the parent are closely tied together.

Ready to File Your Petition Today

Our Framingham family law attorneys can evaluate your case, determine your legal options, and protect your rights in court. Do not hesitate to get started on your new chapter of life today.

For more information about relocation, contact us and schedule an appointment today.

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